To help make sense of the various subsidy types we have adopted a classification developed by the Fisheries Centre of the University of British Columbia. This classification divides subsidy schemes and measures into Good (green), Bad (red) and Ugly (yellow).

‘Good subsidies’

'Good subsidies' are defined as those that enhance the growth of fish stocks through conservation, and the monitoring of catch rates through control and surveillance measures to achieve a biological optimal use. For example: Fisheries management programmes and services; Fishery research and development.

‘Bad subsidies’

'Bad subsidies’ are defined as subsidy programs that lead to overexploitation of fishery, beyond the limits of the fishery's biological capacity to replenish itself. For example: Tax exemption programmes; Foreign access agreements; Boat construction renewal and modernization programmes; Fishing port construction and renovation programmes; Fishery development projects and support services; Marketing support, processing and storage infrastructure programmes.

‘Ugly subsidies’

‘Ugly subsidies’ are defined as programs that have the potential to lead either to fisheries conservation or to overcapacity, depending on the context and their implementation. For example: Fisher assistance programmes; Vessel buyback programmes; and * Rural fishers’ community development programmes.

Read more about this classification and how it has been applied throughout the world, in the Fisheries Centre’s research report (2007).

Read how this classification applies to EU fisheries subsidy schemes.