Lenfest Ocean Program

Supporting Science and Communicating Results

Research Project

Fisheries Subsidies in the United States

  • June 17, 2014

Project Overview:

Renee Sharp (Environmental Working Group, D.C., USA)

Government support, or subsidies, to the fishing industry can promote overfishing by increasing fishing effort artificially and making fishing more profitable than it would be without subsidies. Yet, the specific details of how much some countries, including the United States, are subsidizing their fishing industries are still not known. This project quantifies the amount of government subsidies given to the U.S. fishing industry on a regional level and evaluates their contribution to overfishing, habitat disruption and conservation.

Summary Materials:

Lenfest Research Series Report
February, 2009

Publications and Reports:


Sharp, R. and U.R. Sumaila. 2009. Quantification of U.S. Marine Fisheries Subsidies. North American Journal of Fisheries Management 29(1): 18-32.

North American Journal of Fisheries Management paper
February, 2009



New Study Shows Eliminating Harmful Subsidies Could Improve Health of U.S. Fisheries