Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) Chief Executive Rupert Howes said member nations of the World Trade Organization (WTO) must take immediate action to eliminate subisidies that are contributing to overfishing.

Speaking in a Deutsche Bank interview filmed on the sidelines of the World Econonic Forum in Davos, Switzerland Howes said $20 billion (€18.1 billion) worth of subsidies are funding extra boat building, fuel subsidies and other what he termed perverse activities that drive excess fishing activities and the destruction of oceans worldwide, he said.

The WTO has been discussing eradicating harmful subidies for decades without ever reaching agreement, Howes pointed out.

"We have to break through these logjams, 193 nations have signed up to 2030 sustainable development goals," Howes said.

"I simply can't understand why those 193 nations can't instruct their delegates to get rid of these subsidies that would be a start."

Howes said he expects to see periodic breakthroughs on climate change and sustainability issues but this is going to require action from the corporate sector, consumers and governments.