• Resolution Calling for Fair and Equitable WTO Trade Rules In Chiang Mai, Thailand in 2004
  • Resolution Calling for Fair and Equitable WTO Trade Rules
    of Fish and Fish Products
  • We participants in the ICFO Plenary meeting held at Lotus PSK Hotel in Chiang Mai, Thailand on 29 November, 2004,
  • Recognizing that fisheries cooperatives and their member fishers play important roles and functions in the socio-economic arena of fishing communities,
  • Further recognizing that each country has a different background in its fisheries in terms of its history, culture, geography, society and economy, as well as in its degree of organization of fishers and fisheries policies of the government,
  • Acknowledging that in most of the countries, small scale fisheries constitute majority of fisheries, and together with their related business sectors, contribute to ensuring sustainable development of local fishing communities by providing employment opportunities and by helping to promote fisheries-related industries, and that they contribute to the supply of fish and fish products to the nationals, and further acknowledging that from the standpoint of securing employment opportunities and food security, it is important to ensure that management of such small scale fisheries, which is often vulnerable to environmental changes, is sustained, and for this purpose, fisheries resources are properly managed and market order maintained,
  • Considering that by applying appropriate national border measures such as tariffs, in fish exporting countries, it is important to prevent fishers from committing over-fishing of resources for export purposes, while in fish importing countries, it is important to avoid market disorder from happening by sharp fall in fish prices,
  • Noting that WTO rules should be prepared by giving due consideration to the above points, and that such rules should allow flexible measures taken by each country in consideration of its situations are respected,
  • Resolved as follows:
  • 1. that in order to protect the livelihood of small scale fishers who account for majority of fishers in each country, it should be
  • allowed that each country takes appropriate national border measures including tariffs so as to meet actual situations of each country’s fisheries;
  • 2. that each country should restrain from paying fisheries subsidies, within its fisheries policy, that could lead to increase in the
  • fishing capacity, while such subsidies that encourage conservation, management and sustainable utilization of fisheries resources be secured. Further, each country should provide necessary support measures to fisheries cooperatives etc. that constitute a core in its fisheries and fishing communities which play multiple roles and functions;
  • 3. that each country should promote labeling of fish and fish products concerning information such as on their product of origin and
  • traceability, which constitute important elements for ensuring food safety; and
  • 4. that WTO rules on fish and fish products should be made as such that would contribute to improvement of socio-economic
  • position of small scale fishers who account for majority of world’s fishers, and that would contribute to ensuring sustainable supply of fish and fish products.