ST. JULIAN'S, Malta, October 9, 2017 /PRNewswire/ --
Insurance industry tackles illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing as part of joint Oceana and United Nations initiative on sustainable marine insurance
Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty, AXA, Generali, Hanseatic Underwriters and The Shipowners' Club have co-sponsored the world's first insurance industry statement on sustainable marine insurance. The Statement confirms their commitment to not knowingly insure or facilitate the insuring of vessels that have been blacklisted for their involvement in pirate fishing-also known as illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. This pioneering initiative was launched at the Our Ocean conference in Malta, an international gathering of world leaders hosted this year by the European Union.
"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 against IUU fishing," said Lasse Gustavsson, Executive Director of Oceana Europe. Oceana is the largest international advocacy organisation dedicated solely to ocean conservation.
"We live on the Blue Planet, so it's a tragedy that pirate fishing, polluted oceans and dead coral reefs are out-of-sight and out-of-mind to many. With this commitment, insurers are showing foresight and leadership. They're making it crystal clear that responsible and sustainable maritime industry practices and healthy oceans go hand in hand with insurability and business sustainability," said Butch Bacani, who leads UN Environment's Principles for Sustainable Insurance Initiative (PSI), the largest collaborative initiative between the UN and the insurance industry.
IUU fishing is an unresolved and internationally pervasive problem, with illegal and unreported fishing costing the global economy between USD 10 billion and 23.5 billion annually, which translates to 11 million to 26 million tonnes of fish.
IUU fishing can deplete already overfished populations and can destroy vital marine habitats and ecosystems. This activity can also harm law-abiding fishers that suffer reduced fishing opportunities when their targeted fish stocks are targeted by IUU fishing vessels.
Currently, 21 leading insurers, insurance market bodies and key stakeholders from across the globe have signed and supported the Statement. Oceana and the PSI are calling on more insurers, reinsurers, brokers and agents to sign the Statement.