Fisheries likely to be hit by KHV and other diseases have been thrown a financial lifeline this week after an insurance company unveiled a new policy covering waters against fish mortalities.
The new ‘Carp Elite’ policy from Powells Insurance Brokers comes just weeks after the introduction of tough new measures by government department Defra, under which the owners of fisheries struck down by the deadly disease face having their entire stock eradicated and/or a ban on the movement of fish to and from the fishery.
The new development gives venue bosses the chance to insure their livestock, worth many hundreds of thousands of pounds in some cases, not only against KHV, but also against pollution or ‘malicious acts’.
Cover is available for commercial fisheries and day-ticket waters –the two most likely to be hit by KHV – as well as big-carp syndicate waters, but applicants must first f i l l out a risk assessment questionnaire to obtain a quote.
The questionnaire establishes information such as when the water was last stocked, how enclosed it is and what bio-security measures are in place, all of which affect the risk of a disease outbreak.
Carp Elite was designed by the company’s client director Andy Dutton, a carp angler for more than 30 years and a member of a syndicate who recognised the need for fisheries to protect their stocks.
“Carp are now an even more valuable asset due to increased prices and the higher risk of KHV, SVC and other diseases, so we wanted to give fishery owners a way of protecting their fish – and their livelihood – by way of compensation,” he said.
Respected fisheries management consultant Dr Bruno Broughton also helped to devise the policy and is in discussion with Powells to provide discount for fisheries recognised in the Fisheries Accreditation Scheme.
Powells has already received more than 40 enquiries from fisheries, with valuations up to £400,000 placed on the stock of some lakes.
One fishery owner who has expressed a keen interest is former World Carp record-holder Gary Hagues, who runs Hilton Gravel Pits, a syndicate water near Derby.
“It’s a great idea, and something to safeguard the future of a fishery. I’ve spent years getting the venue how I wanted it in terms of appearance and stock, and if all that hard work was to be wiped out I’d be absolutely devastated.
The cost of an insurance policy isn’t such a high price to pay when you take into account the value of big carp,” he said.