Guidelines for increasing access of small-scale fisheries to insurance services

Friday, October 29, 2021

Date & Time:  29 October 2021

(10.00 am -12.00 pm Bangkok/ 6.00 am -8.00 am Nairobi/5.00 am- 7.00 am Rome/ 8.00 pm-10.00 pm Seattle)



The webinar “Guidelines for increasing access of small-scale fisheries to insurance services” was organized by the CAFI SSF Network, in association with FAO & APRACA on 29 October 2021. About more than 70 participants from the financial services industry, government agency and academic institutions attended the event virtually from various regions. Eminent guest speaker Dr. Uwe Tietze, FAO (Retd)- Fisheries Economist, discussed the insurance guidelines by describing the major consequences such as damage or loss of vessel and gear, financial obligations to provide compensation to third parties that have been affected, loss of life or disability, loss of income and/or employment, and destruction of parts of the ecosystem, such as fish habitats, reefs and mangroves. He further discussed how to design and implement insurance programmes that suit the needs of small-scale fishing communities.

Another important topic discussed was Third Party Liability Insurance in Fisheries, which covers a wide variety of claims including claims for loss of life or personal injury, as well as claims relating to loss or damage caused by a fishing vessel to another vessel or other property. It was presented by eminent speaker Dr Raymon VanAnrooy, Senior Fishery Officer, FAO.

The webinar session had presentations on a recent study conducted by FAO “Global Review on Current State of Capture Fisheries and Aquaculture insurance” for the decade (2011-2021). The study findings discussed particularly on addressing the gaps in insurance for capture fisheries and aquaculture, opportunities for insurance service providers in the fisheries sector and key region-wise recommendations were suggested by FAO Consultants for Asia, Africa, Latin America, Oceania and Europe regions. The publication will be released by FAO early in the year 2022.

The webinar session pictures and recording is shared below


Fishing is a dangerous occupation worldwide with minimal risk covers. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates every year more than 32 000 fishermen and women die during fishing operations across the world and many more get accidents and injured. This makes capture fisheries one of the most dangerous and risky occupations in the world. Fishers often work long hours under harsh weather conditions, increasing the likelihood of accidents or injury.

Most small-scale fishers worldwide do not participate in or have access to government supported social security systems; hence, life and accident insurance could provide them with an important social safety net. Small-scale fisheries insurance would secure incomes and investment in the sector and bring greater social and economic stability to fishing communities. In tandem with other strategies including measures to protect ecosystems and implementation of effective warning systems, insurance helps fisheries in mitigating and adapting to climate change. Access to high-quality, low-cost insurance strengthens the capacity of fishers and fishing communities to adapt and thrive in the face of adverse events.

Fishers, their families, and communities therefore need the special support and protection that insurance can provide as an instrument to mitigate risks.

To further strengthen and increase the capacity of insurance service providers, fisher-folk organizations, NGO’s, and government agencies for providing insurance to small-scale fisheries, FAO along with APRACA (Asia Pacific Rural and Agriculture Credit Association) has developed “Guidelines for increasing access of small-scale fisheries to insurance services” that provides a framework to offer suitable services by insurance and fisheries stakeholders. These guidelines, were published in support of implementation of the Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries in the Context of Food Security and Poverty Eradication (SSF Guidelines) with the following objectives:

  • increase awareness about the needs of small-scale fishers for better risk management, disaster preparedness and insurance services;
  • guide policy and decision makers to help introduce insurance services to small-scale fishers, with the ultimate objective to strengthen the sustainability and ecological and economic viability of these fisheries;
  • build capacity among insurance providers, fisherfolk organizations, NGOs, and concerned government agencies, to design and implement insurance programmes that suit the needs of small-scale fishing communities and enhance social protection;
  • promote insurance services that incentivize and reward a responsible and sustainable conduct of fishing operations and a better preparedness for natural disasters including climate change related challenges.

The FAO supported initiative CAFI SSF – Global Network for capacity building to increase access of small-scale fisheries to financial services (CAFI SSF Network) intends to facilitate and deepen the efforts, involve and engage more stakeholders across various regions, Asia-Pacific, Africa, Latin America and Caribbean to disseminate the guidelines by organizing a webinar on “Guidelines for increasing access of small-scale fisheries to insurance services”, in association with its nodal regional partner APRACA.

The webinar will have a discussion on the study of Current Review of Global Fisheries and Aquaculture Insurance- policies and recommendations, conducted by FAO across all the regions.

This CAFI SSF Webinar is organized for all stakeholders involved with SSF financial and insurance services.