Subsidies in Irish fisheries: saving rural Ireland? (
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Wiium, V. (1998). Subsidies in Irish fisheries: saving rural Ireland?. (Economics Working Paper no. 32): Department of Economics, National University of Ireland, Galway.
Subsidies in the world's fishing industry have long been considered to have harmful effects on fish stocks. The fishing industry has suffered from overcapacity for many years, and subsidies encourage investment, leading to greater capacity and more pressure on fish stocks, many of which are already exploited close to extinction. However, this paper argues, that not all fishery subsidies have this effect on the fish resource. In Ireland, there is evidence suggesting that fishery subsidies are used increasingly for the purpose of employment creation in disadvantaged regions, through land-based investments, rather than to increase fishing capacity. Abolishing fishery subsidies in Ireland is, therefore, not likely to have huge effects on the fishing fleet, while the effects on rural communities could be grave. For politicians ever to consider the removal of subsidies, alternative policies must be developed to assist people that live in disadvantaged regions.