Oceana calls on financial institutions to take a leading role in combatting illegal fishing
A new paper, commissioned by the High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy, outlines key actions that can be taken by public and private sectors to transition towards a sustainable ocean economy. Highlighted among these actions, is the need to stop insuring and financing non-compliant activities that are significantly harmful, such as illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.
Oceana has been engaging with the marine insurance sector for several years, developing and promoting industry recommendations that assist insurers and brokers in identifying and avoiding contracts associated to IUU fishing. Even illegal fishers seek insurance and other financial services to support their business operations. If financial institutions prevent these unscrupulous actors from gaining access to their services, they can play a key role in reducing IUU fishing.
Oceana also encourages companies to introduce policies that increase transparency, such as requiring insured vessels to be registered under an International Maritime Organisation (IMO) number or to be equipped with and actively use publicly accessible vessel tracking technology. These measures would also help to increase accountability within the fishing sector, which can promote more sustainable behaviour.
“Healthy marine ecosystems are essential for maintaining a sustainable ocean economy. Subsidies towards harmful activities must stop, and significantly greater financing must be channelled to sustainable projects that restore and protect our ocean”, said Oceana Board Member Rashid Sumaila, Professor and Director of the Fisheries Economics Research Unit at the University of British Columbia’s Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries, and co-lead author of the Blue Paper on Ocean Finance.
“Oceana calls on financial institutions – including insurers, brokers, banks and other investors, to take a leading role in combatting IUU fishing. Removing support from the financial sector to activities that harm the ocean is an essential first step towards building a sustainable ocean economy.” said Dana Miller, Senior Policy Advisor for Oceana in Europe and contributing author to the Blue Paper on Ocean Finance.
About the High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy
The High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy (Ocean Panel) is a unique initiative by 14 world leaders who are building momentum for a sustainable ocean economy in which effective protection, sustainable production and equitable prosperity go hand in hand. The Ocean Panel commissioned a series of Blue Papers to explore pressing challenges at the nexus of the ocean and the economy.
The Blue Paper on Ocean Finance: Financing the Transition to a Sustainable Ocean Economy examines how the next generation of financing mechanisms can support the sustainable ocean economy in an inclusive manner, and how catalytic funds can be mobilised to finance it.
About Oceana’s campaign to combat IUU fishing
Oceana is encouraging businesses that provide services to global fishing fleets to deny access to their services by IUU fishing vessels and to introduce policies that increase transparency and accountability within the fishing sector.
In 2017, Oceana and UN Environment’s Principles for Sustainable Insurance (PSI) initiative facilitated the development of an insurance industry statement against IUU fishing, launched at the Our Ocean conference in Malta. To date, over 30 insurers and brokers have signed this statement, verifying their commitment to not knowingly insure or facilitate the insuring of IUU fishing vessels.
The insurance industry statement against IUU fishing is still open for signatures and can be viewed and signed through Oceana’s website: https://europe.oceana.org/en/assisting-ocean-stewardship-through-marine-insurance
Guidelines to control or mitigate the risk of insuring vessels and companies associated to IUU fishing are available through the following link: https://europe.oceana.org/sites/default/files/oceana_insurance_guidelines_0.pdf
For more information on Oceana’s work on insurance and IUU fishing, visit: https://europe.oceana.org/en/publications/reports/marine-insurance-and-iuu-fishing-questions-and-answers