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Subsidies go to big fisheries, not small-scale companies: UBC study

Last Updated Jun 25, 2017 at 12:17 pm PDT

Salmon farming in the Annapolis Basin, Nova Scotia. (iStock, Photo)

The report finds only five per cent of Canada's subsidies go to small-scale fishing companies

The biggest subsidy is for diesel fuel, according to the study

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – A global study out of the University of British Columbia has found large-scale fisheries get about four times more subsidies than their small-scale counterparts.

Only five per cent of Canada’s subsidies go to small-scale fishing companies, according to the Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries report.

The biggest subsidy is for diesel fuel, and the large-scale fisheries suck up a whopping 96 per cent of the money.

The study says this promotes fuel-inefficient technology and overfishing, by allowing companies to exceed their usual fuel costs.

Senior study author Rashid Sumaila says overfishing and pollution shouldn’t be rewarded.

“This something we don’t want to happen, overfishing, and that’s why we shouldn’t give subsidies, in fact, we should tax.”

“(We’re) bringing out information so that our leaders, policy makers, society will ask the question: is this really what we want our tax money to be used for? Is it to support sustainability or to work againt it?”

He says society should come up with more creative solutions like paying fishermen to clean up oceans, which would create jobs while protecting fish and the environment.