Aquaculture is a high-risk business, and Sunderland Marine has successfully insured the world’s fish farms for 30 years by Duncan Perrin and James Simison, Sunderland Marine
very year the world’s fish farmers need to ensure that over 75 million tonnes of fish are raised in optimum growing conditions and protected from a wide range of predators and natural perils. This is no mean feat – and neither is the business of insuring them. When Sunderland Marine issued its first aquaculture stock policy to Pairc Salmon in northwest Scotland in 1986, we also took the important and unprecedented step of employing specialist aquaculture risk managers. The concept was to offer a free risk management and technical support service to our policyholders but also to provide advice to our underwriters when assessing the risk. The approach has paid off. Most of the small owner-operated sites we insured are now part of multinational businesses and, while many of our competitors have come and gone in the wake of heavy losses over the past 30 years, Sunderland Marine is now the world’s longest-standing global insurer in the sector.
Sharing global knowledge
Over the past three decades the aquaculture industry has grown and consolidated into the international business it is today. The increase in production has not only meant larger and more sophisticated farms, but more species and the introduction of new technologies. Sunderland Marine currently insures many different species, from shellfish to tuna, and with production systems as diverse as state of the art on-shore recirculating aquaculture systems to the more traditional yet extensive artisanal producers. With such a diverse portfolio of risks, it has been important to maintain our original ethos of regular site surveys. We now employ five risk managers worldwide, each one a former fish farmer, who regularly visit each of our insured sites. Located in Australia, Canada, Chile, Ireland and the UK, they provide global support to our policyholders, who at any time can discuss their sites, future plans and projects, or any other concerns they may have. The fully interactive approach has led to our survey team
20 | February 2017 - International Aquafeed