Compulsory Insurance (Third Party Liability) Requirements For Fishing Vessels: A Case For The Introduction Of Compulsory Fishing Vessel Insurance In The Caribbean

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While all vehicles on the roads require compulsory third party liability insurance, this is not the case for fishing vessels.  A recent study shows that introduction of compulsory third party liability insurance for fishing vessels in the Caribbean is possible in most Caribbean countries with only minor legislative amendments and states that if such insurance is introduced it would contribute to improving the working conditions of fishers, their safety and to more responsible fishing practices.

Fishing is amongst the most dangerous occupations in the world and accidents and fatalities in smallscale fisheries are common. Many fisherfolk who get an accident during their working life, cannot work for some time or end up disabled. This creates financial and social hardship for these fishers and their families. Introduction of third party liability insurance will protect boat owners and crew of fishing vessels, reduce the vulnerability of fishers and their families to shocks caused by accidents in fishing, and will contribute to sustainable fisheries livelihoods. An estimated 3 percent of the fishing vessels operating in the Caribbean region are currently insured and less than 20 percent of the fishers have life and/or health insurance cover. Recommendations have been made by fisheries authorities in the Caribbean for introducing third-party liability insurance for commercial vessels, similarly as
vehicle insurance, which is mandatory throughout the Caribbean. Fisherfolk organizations are supportive of such insurance, particularly as it will provide cover for crew of fishing vessels as well.

This circular summarizes the findings of an FAO assessment of legal frameworks in five Caribbean countries (Barbados, Dominica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad and Tobago) in terms of entry points for introducing fishing vessel insurance. It also contains an overview of international conventions governing marine insurance and examples of mandatory fishing vessel insurance legislation from selected countries. The origins of compulsory third party liability insurance in the maritime industry and its introduction in international instruments (e.g. the Bunkers Convention, the Wreck Removal Convention, and the EU Directive 2009/20/EC) are discussed. The benefits of introducing compulsory third party liability insurance for everyone involved in the fisheries industry (claimants, shipowners, and society in general) in line with those in the merchant shipping industry are presented. Model regulations to facilitate introduction of compulsory third party liability insurance for fishing vessels are provided, as well as information to support fishers’ awareness raising and capacity building on this subject. This circular also contains the proceedings of a Stakeholder Meeting on Fisheries Insurance Legislative Frameworks for the Caribbean, held on 15 November 2019 in Barbados, where the assessment findings, best-practices and model regulations were presented.

This circular makes a case for introduction of compulsory third party liability insurance for fishing vessels in the Caribbean, and claims that such insurance contributes to improving the working conditions of fishers, their safety and to responsible fishing practices.

 

Document Information

Document Type Report
Author Norman A. Martinez Gutierrez; Raymon van Anrooy
Year of Publication 2020
Publisher Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
Rome
Number of Pages 119
Region / Country Americas / Barbados, Dominica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago
Primary Language English (en)
Keywords Insurance, Third party liability, Caribbean
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