Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries
in the Context of Food Security and Poverty Eradication

Compulsory insurance (third party liability) requirements for fishing vessels: a case for the introduction of compulsory fishing vessel insurance in the Caribbean


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. The 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.