Protecting fisheries in China

Aquaculture provides the main source of protein for nearly 2 billion people, as well as a source of income for 800 million.

With most wild capture fisheries in the world already fully exploited, aquaculture is gaining an even bigger role to meet demand from an ever-growing population. According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, production has increased from 43 million tonnes in 2003 to 70 million tonnes in 2013.

However, many perils threaten fisheries worldwide. They are naturally prone to natural disasters, such as typhoons and man-made hazards, including pollution. Diseases, red tides and rising sea temperatures are also depleting stock. Farmers need to manage these risks and prepare for inevitable damage. Aquaculture insurance is a great tool to quickly restore production after a calamity. Swiss Re is at the forefront of this area, with an eye toward the Chinese market – the largest in the world –to develop innovative insurance products.

According to the FAO, aquaculture supply will reach 101.2 million tonnes worldwide by 2030, with more than 30% from China, which is also one of the biggest consumers of fish and sea products.

In 2013, Swiss Re signed an agreement with the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA), People's Republic of China, to jointly develop an aquaculture insurance product. After years of collaboration with China Fishery Insurance Association, a subsidiary of MOA, and discussions with farmers and local government officials, we signed the first of a three-year quota share treaty. With it, we commit more than RMB 1.5 billion in capacity to cover the production of fish, scallops, shrimp and other species from wind, high temperatures and other perils. Under this cooperation, Swiss Re offers protection to most of China's coastal and inland producers, including small-scale producers in remote areas.