Ted Danson Urges U.S. Senate to Reduce Subsidies that Lead to Overfishing
Danson Testifies about Impact of Government Subsidies on Oceans, Seafood and Jobs
Press Release Date: July 14, 2010
Location: Washington, DC
Ted Danson, award-winning actor, longtime ocean advocate and Oceana board member, testified today before the Subcommittee on International Trade, Customs and Global Competitiveness of the Senate Committee on Finance. In the hearing entitled Marine Wealth: Promoting Conservation and Advancing American Exports, Danson described how government subsidies negatively impact the oceans and global seafood market as well as explained why sustainable fishing is necessary to preserve ocean health and jobs.
“There’s an inextricable link between ocean conservation and global competitiveness,” said Danson. “It’s quite simple – No fish. No fishermen. No future.”
The World Trade Organization (WTO) is currently engaged in a dedicated negotiation on fisheries subsidies as part of the Doha trade round. Yet despite international consensus on the dire state of the oceans, many governments continue to provide major subsidies to their fishing sectors. These subsidies promote overfishing by pushing fleets to fish longer, harder and farther away than would otherwise be economically feasible.
“Reducing subsidies is a necessary action to reverse global overfishing, and the WTO negotiations are our best chance,” said Danson. “The world needs a fisheries subsidies agreement and soon. U.S. jobs and competitiveness are at risk.”
Global fisheries subsidies are estimated to be at least $20 billion annually – an amount equivalent to approximately 25 percent of the value of the world fish catch. According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, 80 percent of the world’s fisheries are now overexploited, fully exploited, significantly depleted or recovering from overexploitation. Because many of these species are at the top of the ocean food chain, their depletion is disrupting marine ecosystems worldwide.
To learn more about Oceana and its campaign to stop overfishing subsidies, please visit www.CutTheBait.org.