Oceana is launching a new website to inform companies that provide services to fishing vessels of how they can help combat illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, and equipping them with tools, guidance and other resources to do so.
Companies that provide services to fishing vessels have the power to keep high-risk vessels at port and inoperable, stopping their illicit activities. These companies can fight back against illegal operators by not engaging in business with them, reducing their access to essential services, such as insurance, that keep them operationally afloat.
Oceana’s new website will feature a tool intended to facilitate the exchange of information on IUU fishing vessels between companies. Through this tool, registered users can notify each other when an IUU fishing vessel has sought and been denied services or had services cancelled. Users will also be sent an alert when new vessels get added to official lists of internationally sanctioned IUU fishing vessels. This tool will be piloted for use initially only by marine insurance professionals. In the future, registration may open to additional sectors.
IUU fishing is a problem that affects the ocean worldwide, inflicting damage to the marine environment and livelihoods and costing the global economy tens of billions of Euros/Pounds every year. Those who participate in IUU fishing break or avoid the law by operating without a license, fishing where it is forbidden, using illegal gear, catching endangered species, or taking more than allowed.
IUU fishing is so opaque that insurance companies and other service providers who help to support this activity might be acting against their own interests without even knowing it. For example, there have been cases of fishers sinking their own ships to avoid being caught and paying fines, with insurance companies left to bear the cost of these types of fraudulent insurance claims.
Oceana is inviting companies that provide services to fishing vessels to come forward and join the fight against this illegal activity and help to promote greater transparency and accountability within the global fishing sector.
Campaign Director Illegal Fishing and Transparency, Vanya Vulperhorst, is available for an interview. Please let me know if you would like me to set something up with her.
A video from Oceana, ‘How can service providers help prevent IUU fishing’ is also available for viewing: https://vimeo.com/612708295.