The EU presented its proposal for sustainable fishing to the World Trade Organisation on 22 April 2003.
Under the EU's proposal all subsidies which enhance fishing capacity would be forbidden in order to fight the overcapacity in the sector. On the other hand, the EU wants to permit other subsidies which are meant to offset social problems as a result of the restructuring of the fisheries industry. Subsidies such as for retraining of fishermen, for retirement schemes or for improving vessel safety and for promotion of environmentally-friendly fishing methods would be allowed.
The Union's proposals are in line with the EU's common fisheries policy reform adopted in December 2002.