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Workshop On Oil Spill Response

Workshop On Oil Spill Response
Workshop participants after a demonstration at the Princess Wharf in Suva last Thursday. Photo: MSAF
February 28
14:31 2018

An oil spill could devastate the ecosystem around the spill site and have negative effects on other sectors such as tourism,  says Maritime and Safety Authority of Fiji (MSAF) chief executive officer John Tunidau.

Mr  Tunidau made the comment following MSAF’s On-scene Command Training Workshop funded by the Government of New Zealand and facilitated by experts from the Maritime New Zealand.

The workshop was held at the FPCL Building from February 20-22, 2018 in Walu Bay, Suva.

“Last year the cargo ship Southern Phoenix capsized off Suva wharf with the oil spill equipment deployed almost immediately by MSAF to contain the situation and avoid an environmental disaster,” Mr Tunidau said.

MSAF currently had oil spill equipment stationed at Suva, Lautoka, Levuka and Labasa in preparedness for an oil spill situation as part of the National Oil Spill Contingency Plan (NATPLAN).

Experts Dayne Maxwell and Greg Meikle from Maritime New Zealand conducted the workshop and  trained various stakeholders on oil spill response planning, preparation, initiation, operation, termination and demobilisation and the use and maintenance of oil spill equipment.

The participants were also trained on oil spill response strategies.

FPCL Fiji Ports Corporation Limited enforcement officer, Captain Pauliasi Vakaloloma said the workshop enhanced their knowledge in dealing with oil spills.

“One of the missing aspects is environmental protection dealing with how spills are drained. The workshop ensured the safety and security of those involved in managing spills,” Captain Vakaloloma said.

Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) officer Lindsay Fong said the workshop was really helpful as they were able to identify their key responsibilities.

He said this included those relevant stakeholders that should be involved in the National Oil Spill Response Plan as well as the procedures involved in all aspects of oil spill response.

“We were taught on how to identify oil spills, how to predict the oil spill movement patterns using a vector diagram, identifying the correct equipments to respond to oil spills as well as the different methods in containing and cleaning up oil spills,” he said.


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