Insurers unite to cut pirate fishing lifeline

Photo: World Ocean Review
Photo: World Ocean Review

Allianz, AXA, The Shipowners’ Club, Hanseatic Underwriters and Generali have confirmed their commitment to not insure vessels blacklisted for pirate fishing – also known as illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.

Developed by Oceana and United Nations Environment, the sustainable marine insurance initiative was launched at a conference in Malta.

The initiative, “acknowledges the threat that IUU fishing poses to the sustainability of fisheries and health of marine ecosystems and encourages risk management protocols to reduce the risk of insuring vessels or companies acting contrary to international law.”

IUU fishing costs the global economy between US$10 billion and $23.5 billion annually, which translates to 11 million to 26 million tonnes of fish.

“IUU fishing has ramifications for all of us and contributes to overfishing. It takes away jobs from honest fishers and supplies the unsuspecting public with illegally-caught food. Today is a major breakthrough, with leading insurers committing to deny a financial lifeline to pirate-fishing vessels. We call on other insurers to show corporate responsibility and sustainability leadership by joining this fight,” said Oceana Europe Executive Director Lasse Gustavsson.

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