A fleet of fishing boats caught fishing illegally in the Atlantic have had their insurance coverage canceled by insurer Hydor.
The Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF) identified the fleet of ships after it discovered that they engaged in unregulated, unreported and illegal fishing for tuna.
As a result of the investigation, the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) blacklisted the fleet, after which Hydor canceled their insurance coverage, placing the boats in severe financial peril if they were to put to sea.
Among the various shenanigans undertaken by the ships was swapping flags midway through a trip to avoid scrutiny and ending up “stateless” for some time while on the high seas to escape various jurisdictions.
Commenting on the action of the fleet, Steve Trent, the CEO and founder of the Environmental Justice Foundation, said:
“I would like to commend Hydor for working with us on this case. If it was commonplace for the insurance industry to require transparency, and sever all ties with illegally fishing vessels it would not only help to end the destruction of our ocean ecosystems and human rights abuse at sea, it would reduce the risk for insurers being damaged by such association.”
The move to strip the fleet of its coverage was welcomed by Pascale Moehrle, the Executive Director of Oceana in Europe, who stated:
“There are clear actions companies can take to avoid becoming embroiled with illegal fishing. By using the freely available Combined IUU Fishing Vessel List, companies such as Hydor can easily identify vessels that have been found to engage in IUU fishing and ensure they are not provided with insurance coverage or other essential services that keep them afloat. They can also help to increase transparency in the fishing sector, for instance by requiring that vessels they provide services to are actively using vessel tracking technology and are registered with a unique vessel identifier such as an International Maritime Organisation number.”
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(Featured Image credit: Environmental Justice Foundation)