Friday, November 13, 2020 - 11:00

Fri, November 13, 2020 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM See description. IOF Seminar Series:

Speaker: Dr. Dana Miller, Senior Policy Advisor, Oceana Europe

Given existing weaknesses in international frameworks for fisheries governance, illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing is a notoriously difficult issue to tackle and assistance from the private sector is needed to overcome these challenges. In 2016, research completed at the University of British Columbia uncovered a relationship between IUU fishing and marine insurance, highlighting a new strategy for confronting this issue. If insurers and brokers improve due diligence processes and prevent illicit operators from gaining access to their services, they may find it more difficult to continue fishing and maintain financial viability. Furthermore, insurers can help to improve transparency and accountability within the fishing sector through requiring insured vessels to be registered with an International Maritime Organization (IMO) number or to be equipped with and actively use publicly accessible vessel tracking technology. The insurance sector can therefore potentially play a significant role in helping to combat IUU fishing. For the past several years, the non-profit ocean conservation organisation Oceana has been actively engaging with the marine insurance sector in efforts to implement this strategy. In 2017, over 30 leading insurers, reinsurers and brokers from around the world publicly committed to not knowingly insure or facilitate the insuring of IUU fishing vessels. In 2019, risk assessment guidelines on this topic were produced in collaboration with insurance industry stakeholders and widely disseminated within the sector. Recent examples of vessels being apprehended months after losing coverage suggest the strategy could be working to help reduce IUU fishing. To maximise this potential for impact, advocacy efforts are now expanding focus to mobilize not only insurers, but also other businesses that provide services to global fishing fleets.