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Why do we pay for overfishing? Mission Blue calls for end to subsidies

Posted by: Emily McManus

In advance of this summer’s G-20 summit in Toronto this June, today Mission Blue called on the G-20 nations to halt the growth of worldwide fishing subsidies.

In a letter delivered to Stephen Harper, prime minister of Canada, 67 participants in Mission Blue share their grave concern about the state of the world’s fisheries, and point to government subsidies as a leading cause of overfishing by pushing fleets to fish longer, deeper and farther away.

Mission Blue participants Dr. Sylvia Earle, Chris Anderson, Andrew Sharpless, Leonardo DiCaprio, Glenn Close, Edward Norton, Chevy Chase, Mike deGruy, Bill Joy, Edith Widder, Jacqueline Novogratz, Fisher Stevens, Celine Cousteau, Jake Eberts and Daniel Pauly all signed the letter, which grew out of an onboard effort led by Oceana CEO Andy Sharpless. “Governments are paying companies to overfish our oceans,” says Sharpless, the head of Mission Blue’s working group on fishing subsidies. “It’s taxpayer-financed ocean depletion, and it’s crazy. Cutting government subsidies that produce overcapacity in the world’s fishing fleets is the silver bullet to restoring our world’s fisheries.”

Read the full press release here >>

Download the letter (PDF) >>