Every day of every year, thousands of ships cross the seas to trade. It’s a risk taken for the sake of global trade, which all the more proves the importance of marine insurance. According to a report released by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the South China Sea and East Indies, Eastern Mediterranean, Black Sea, North Sea, and British Isles are the most dangerous seas in the world. In the last 15 years, it has had the most shipping accidents.
While pirates and other mysteries of the ocean below may come to mind when thinking of these incidents, the WWF’s study focused more on disasters that are often overlooked. Some of which pose a threat to seafarers’ well-being, global trade, and the environment.
Studies have found that nearly half of all ships lost at sea are cargo vessels. Most of the accidents were linked to be caused by bad weather. Some were because of the state of the ships – old and poorly-maintained. Some vessels, on the other hand, disregarded safety regulations.
As unfortunate as it is, climate change has significantly affected the seas’ weather events. There’s a noticeable increase in storm surge, wave patterns, and the like. Studies have shown that this may affect the likeliness and risks of ships sinking due to rough weather.
According to Simon Walmsley of WWF International, there have been 293 shipping accidents in the South China Sea and East Indies since 1999. April of 2013, a Chinese fishing boat had run aground the Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park. Around 3,902 square meters of protected corals were destroyed, which was 66% more than the damage caused by an earlier accident that involved a US warship.
Preventing shipping accidents is crucial for the protection of seafarers and preservation of the world’s marine environment. Apart from focusing of the effects of climate change, better regulation on the shipping industry is a must. Furthermore, protection and security of all assets, like a marine insurance, must be strictly implemented.