Malaysia ratifies WTO agreement on fisheries subsidies

KUALA LUMPUR — Malaysia has ratified the World Trade Organisation’s (WTO) Fisheries Subsidies Agreement (FSA), which is a global effort to curb harmful fishing subsidies and protect fish stocks.

Malaysia joins 68 other WTO members which have successfully ratified the FSA, said Investment, Trade and Industry Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz.

Tengku Zafrul is currently attending the 13th WTO Ministerial Conference in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, where the FSA was ratified.

He said the ratification demonstrated Malaysia’s commitment to global cooperation and responsible stewardship of its oceans.

“I urge all remaining (WTO) members to join us and accelerate their domestic ratification process and contribute to the preservation of marine biodiversity and the livelihoods of millions of people who depend on fishing.

“Our action and commitment today will ensure a better future for our children,” the minister said in a social media post today.

Adopted in June 2022, the FSA addresses key threats to oceans and promotes sustainable fishing practices. It is a powerful step towards eliminating illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, which contributed to overfishing, and thus preserving the delicate balance of marine ecosystems.

Tengku Zafrul said the FSA will also ensure that any subsidy on fishing activities provided by member countries is transparent and accountable. 

“This transparency fosters responsible fishing practices and enables effective monitoring of compliance,” he added.

He also noted that the WTO will establish technical assistance and capacity-building programmes to help the developing and least developing countries integrate sustainability elements into their policies and strengthen their fisheries management systems. — BERNAMA / pic credit: Tengku Zafrul FB