US, UK and Canada confirm financial commitments to ocean resilience

Three G7 countries, the US, the UK and Canada, confirmed their multi-year commitment to building ocean resilience through the Ocean Risk and Resilience Action Alliance (ORRAA) at the Panama Our Ocean Conference last week, with $22m promised. The US also confirmed its full membership of ORRAA, and will sit on its Steering Council.

Of the $22m, the UK is investing about $14.5m through its Blue Planet Fund.

The first project that the UK will be supporting is work to further develop Vessel Viewer, a tool for insurers driven by open data, that builds a picture of a vessel’s profile and behaviour. This is intended to help detect illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing.

ORRAA has been developing Vessel Viewer with support from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and in collaboration with Global Fishing Watch and TMT.

The plan is that, by providing insurers with data to assess the risk of vessels engaging in or supporting IUU fishing, Vessel Viewer will help cut off access to insurance for IUU fishing vessels. This in turn should act as a disincentive for shipowners participating in such  activity.