"London Ship Insurers Accused Of Enabling Fishing Vessels To ‘Go Dark’"

"Complaint says switching off tracking devices should raise ‘red flags’ with insurers, as it could be covering illegal fishing activity and puts crew’s lives at risk".

"When it comes to illegal fishing, London’s ancient business of ship insurance may not get much attention. But according to a new complaint, the UK capital’s insurance industry is partly to blame when fishing vessels “go dark” at sea by turning off their mandatory satellite tracking equipment.

In a filing to City of London watchdogs, the ocean conservation charity Blue Marine Foundation has argued that EU-flagged vessels operating in the Indian Ocean that go dark are in likely breach of international, flag state and coastal state law, and that the UK insurance industry is “enabling” them by continuing to provide cover, thereby putting seafarers’ lives at risk.

The complaint, made to the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulatory Authority, is based on analysis of what the charity calls “highly inconsistent” use of AIS (Automatic Identification Systems) by 46 EU fishing vessels over four years, mostly owned by Spanish and French companies."

Karen McVeigh reports for the Guardian February 14, 2023.

Source: Guardian, 02/15/2023