The UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy for the Ocean has called for immediate political action to end harmful fisheries subsidies.
UN research shows the subsidies contribute to practices which most harm small-scale fishers and coastal communities like those in the Pacific Islands.
Peter Thomson's call followed a World Trade Organisation progress report on securing a deal to halt harmful subsidies by the end of this year.
The report said members were on track to deliver within the 2019 deadline.
The WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo said subsidies contributed to overfishing, and illegal and unregulated fishing. He called it: "one of the important issues of our time".
Around 85 percent of US$20 billion in annual subsidies are estimated to go to large-scale industrial fleets which leads to global over-capacity.
Mr Thomson said environmental protection and sustainable development could be supported with the billions of dollars saved from ending harmful subsidies.
He is calling for immediate decisive political action.