Fisheries subsidies exacerbate inequities in accessing seafood nutrients in the Indian Ocean

Vania Andreoli, Jessica J. Meeuwig, Daniel J. Skerritt, Anna Schuhbauer, U. Rashid Sumaila, Dirk Zeller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Harmful, capacity-enhancing subsidies distort fishing activities and lead to overfishing and perverse outcomes for food security and conservation. We investigated the provision and spatial distribution of fisheries subsidies in the Indian Ocean. Total fisheries subsidies in the Indian Ocean, estimated at USD 3.2 billion in 2018, were mostly harmful subsidies (60%), provided to the large-scale industrial sector by mainly a few subsidising countries, including Distant Water Fishing countries. We also explored possible socio-economic drivers of the composition of subsidies, and show that the extent of harmful subsidies provided by Indian Ocean Rim (IOR) countries to their industrial sector can be predicted by the seafood export quantities of these countries. These results illustrate the inequity in accessing fisheries resources for the small-scale sector of nutrient insecure and ocean-dependant IOR countries. The present study can benchmark future assessments and implementation of fisheries subsidy disciplines in the region following the World Trade Organisation Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies.
Original languageEnglish
Journalnpj Ocean Sustainability
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 8 Dec 2023


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