I know a lot of boaties are acutely in tune with the marine environment when they are out on the water but, curiously, the very same people often go about their day-to-day business back on dry land almost oblivious to their physical environment.
I think, as boaties, we take special care of the bays, lakes, rivers and coastline in which we play because we value the fact that we have such easy access to some of the world’s most pristine and accessible fishing and cruising grounds.
Most skippers take their environmental responsibilities pretty seriously; no longer do we see rubbish being carelessly lost overboard, sewage holding tanks being discharged inshore or the thoughtless disposal of fishing nets, lines and other equipment. A week or so back, I even saw two boats in a game fishing tournament almost collide as they wheeled around to collect a stray plastic bag seen floating in the water.
But each year, we see more and more pressure applied in the ongoing conflict between our continued enjoyment and unfettered access and free use of the marine environment, and the conservation and protection of that same environment for the benefit of future generations.
Governments across both Australia and New Zealand are moving towards greater regulatory intervention to ensure compliance with environmental protection and, in some cases, are now going so far as to legislate mandatory insurance coverage to meet the costs of pollution clean-up and salvage following an accident.
As an example, if you operate a recreational vessel between 15 and 34 metres (50 to 115 feet) in length in Queensland, it is now compulsory to have insurance cover in place to meet up to $250,000 of clean-up costs of any pollutants discharged into coastal waters. And you will need a further $10,000,000 cover in place for the operator’s legal liability.
For commercially-registered ships of the same size, the requirement is for $500,000 cover for clean-up costs and up to $10,000,000 for legal liability. Any ship over 35 metres or 115 feet is required to have cover in place for up to $10,000,000 for both clean-up costs and legal liability.
Additionally, all operators are required to have insurance cover in place to meet the needs of salvage or removal of the boat from coastal waters if it is abandoned or wrecked.
To learn more about Queensland’s new compulsory insurance requirements, visit Marine Safety Queensland at: www.msq.qld.gov.au.
I’m pleased to say Club Marine’s Pleasurecraft Insurance Policy for private users in Australia and New Zealand has exceeded the new Queensland statutory insurance cover requirements for a number of years. And our policy can be endorsed to meet the needs of any commercial or charter operator.
What’s more, we offer peace of mind by meeting unlimited costs of salvage and/or wreck removal over and above the sum insured on your policy, meaning we pick up the tab for the clean-up operation – and you are still comprehensively covered for the cost of replacing your boat up to its sum insured.
And in more good news on the environmental front, Club Marine is pleased to announce that we have increased our level of commitment by supporting the 60,000 selfless Aussie volunteers, who work tirelessly to protect our magnificent, but fragile beaches, harbours and bays, by entering into a long-term cornerstone partnership with Coastcare.
Coastcare is all about bringing communities of people together to do practical things that matter, including revegetation of foreshores, construction of sustainable and eco-friendly accesses, removing harmful rubbish, debris and pollutants, addressing erosion and caring for our threatened marine flora and fauna.
We are very proud of the great work these extraordinary Aussies are doing and we’re equally proud to be doing our bit to support them on behalf of all Club Marine members and readers. Find out more about our involvement with Coastcare on P35, or go to: www.coastcare.com.au.
In the meantime, I wish you a lifetime of safe, happy, sustainable and eco-friendly boating.
Publisher and CEO
Club Marine Limited