Fisheries subsidies have attracted considerable attention worldwide since the 1990s. The World Trade Organization (WTO), among others, started to strengthen its disciplines in fisheries subsidies in 2001. The academic study of fisheries subsidies can play a key role in contributing to policy-making processes such as WTO negotiations by providing more accurate information on the link between subsidies and overfishing. This paper aims to review the existing academic literature and discuss the role of academic studies in the process of designing and implementing policies on fisheries subsidies. Academic studies on fishery subsides can be divided into three branches: descriptive, theoretical, and empirical. Overall, there has been significant progress in empirical studies on fishery subsidies during the last decade. While the number of studies is still limited, they generate insights that are consistent with theoretical predictions. As for potential contributions of academic studies to actual policies and sustainable management, more interaction between academic experts and policy makers is desirable.
This paper investigates the economic impact of future global change on fishing dependent inhabitants of the Tonle Sap floodplain in Cambodia. We compare the net income from individuals’ current livelihoods to that derived from reallocating their livelihood activities under 4 different scenarios depicting future change. Respondents generally chose to retain their current livelihood strategy under all future scenarios. Less than 10% of those who did change livelihood allocation actually experienced a gain in economic benefits. Those engaged in single livelihoods experienced an average income loss of 18% across all scenarios, compared to 9% for the multi-livelihood group. Respondents’ choices generated the best economic outcome under a status quo scenario, thus suggesting a low capacity to adapt when faced with unfamiliar future scenarios. Our study contributes to identifying and understanding the economic impact of future global changes on fisheries dependent individuals in the Tonle Sap floodplain ecosystem.