Study on the subsidies to the fisheries, aquaculture, and marketing and processing subsectors in major fishing nations beyond the EU
A ‘subsidy’ is a form of direct or indirect government support, often monetary and often provided to the private sector. Subsidies to the fisheries sector have been attracting increasing attention and are identified as important in terms of monetary value and the potential impact on fleet capacity, fishing effort, production and market value. However, there are difficulties in defining precisely what is meant by a ‘fisheries subsidy’ and existing information regarding such subsidies appear uncertain and somewhat patchy. The purpose of this study is to collate and standardise, to the extent... possible, information on the value and scope of subsidies to the catching, aquaculture, and marketing and seafood processing subsectors in six of the major fishing nations beyond the EU - Japan, South Korea, China, the Russian Federation, Taiwan and the United States. This information is intended to provide a current ‘state of play’ regarding key fisheries subsidies in each country. The term subsidy has often appeared synonymous with expressions such as public support, transfers or government financial transfers. For the purpose of this study, subsidies have been categorised into four overarching groups: services, production, social assistance and resource access. Within these broad groups they are further defined based on their objective and the stage of the production chain that they intend to support and whether they represent direct or indirect payments. The classification framework used for subsector subsidies is coherent with internationally recognised methods. Data collection used a common template, combined with country-specific instructions on data collection priorities. These priorities were based on reviews of accessible data available for each country. Data collected by country teams was used to create country profiles that provide an overview of the fisheries subsectors. The profiles also include details of the information on subsidies provided to the WTO and the OECD, and an assessment of the types of subsidies and values of each derived from the information collected over the course of the study. All subsidy values are presented in 2015 EUR - data in national currency are first adjusted for inflation to 2015 money using a consumer price index for the country and then converted to 2015 EUR using the market exchange rate from World Development Indicators. Where possible, subsidies have been normalised for the catching subsector - by value and volume of landings, and number of vessels or fishers - and the aquaculture subsector - by value or volume of production to enable comparison. Data for normalisation was not available for all time periods in which subsidy values were recorded. Therefore, care needs to be taken while comparing normalised values of subsidies to avoid drawing incorrect conclusions.