A fish called subsidy

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Subsidies are recognised worldwide as a serious threat to sustainable fisheries management. They distort international fish trade and penalise developing country fishers whose governments cannot afford to provide them subsidies. The debate on the size and impacts of subsidies intensified after the Food and Agricultural Organization reported in 1992 that global fisheries subsidies were about us $ 54 billion per year. A more conservative estimate of us $14-20 billion per year as global fisheries subsidies was reported in 1998 by M J Milazzo in his paper Subsidies in Fisheries. Even this estimate is about 17-25 per cent of the industry's annual revenues, implying that fishers can keep fishing even if their total revenues are up to 25 per cent below their total fishing costs.

The fisheries economics literature is clear that open access fishery, or fishery not