Oceana is calling out insurance company Carina to cancel covering the Cape Flower, a fishing vessel that was added in November 2017 to an official intergovernmental blacklist of ships that the South East Atlantic Fisheries Organisation (SEAFO) determined have engaged in illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. The internationally blacklisted pirate fishing vessel is currently insured by the London-based fixed premium insurance facility that provides protection and indemnity insurance cover to owners of small ships.
“Oceana is calling on Carina to immediately cease providing insurance cover to the Cape Flower and invites Carina to join an international consortium of insurers that have recently signed an industry Statement against IUU fishing,” said Lasse Gustavsson, executive director of Oceana in Europe.
Signatories to this Statement have committed to not knowingly insure or facilitate the insuring of vessels officially blacklisted for their engagement in IUU fishing. As of October 2018, the Statement has been signed by over 30 leading insurers, insurance market bodies and key stakeholders from around the world. The Statement is still open for signatures and can be viewed and signed through Oceana’s website.
“Service providers may unknowlingly be facilitating pirate fishing in the world’s oceans. Cutting the lifeline to the services that enable IUU fishing vessels to operate is a significant step towards the elimination of this plague,” added Gustavsson.
As Carina is based within the United Kingdom, Oceana is calling on the UK Marine Management Organisation (MMO), the government body with authority on these matters, to investigate this case in line with the EU IUU regulation which makes it an offence for EU nationals or businesses to support IUU fishing.
About the pirate vessel Cape Flower
The Cape Flower (IMO number 7330399) is listed by the South East Atlantic Fisheries Organisation (SEAFO) as an IUU vessel. The vessel was given this designation by SEAFO after the Organisation’s Compliance Committee considered evidence provided by the European Union about the IUU fishing activities of the Cape Flower within SEAFO waters. Correspondence on the case and other supporting documents were also considered by the Compliance Committee before this decision was made. Following SEAFO, the vessel has now also been blacklisted by the North-East Atlantic Fisheries Commission (NEAFC) and countries that are members to SEAFO or NEAFC (including all EU Member States) are required to impose sanctions on such blacklisted vessels, limiting their access to ports, markets and services. Although the Cape Flower has not yet been added to the European Union’s own IUU vessel list, as per Article 30(1) of EU Regulation (EC) No 1005/2008 (the “IUU Regulation”), the vessel will be added to this list at the next opportunity when the list is updated. Article 39(1) of the IUU Regulation states that “[n]ationals subject to the jurisdiction of Member States…shall neither support nor engage in IUU fishing”. The scope of this Regulation extends to insurers and other financial service providers and the UK government has explicitly stated that “…it is an offence to conduct business directly with any IUU vessel; this includes providing insurance to such vessels.”
Carina was first contacted by Oceana with regards to the Cape Flower in July of 2018. As of October 16th, 2018 Carina’s own website indicates the vessel is still insured.