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Scholarship Assists, Upgrades Crew

Fijians have been victimised on Asian and local fishing vessels because the International Maritime Regulation (IMR) do not apply to them. Patricia Kailola and Big City Marine Consultancy Pte Ltd
07 Oct 2020 14:21
Scholarship Assists, Upgrades Crew
Taniela Lui, Emosi Silikiwai and Mosese Are.

Fijians have been victimised on Asian and local fishing vessels because the International Maritime Regulation (IMR) do not apply to them.

Patricia Kailola and Big City Marine Consultancy Pte Ltd hope to have former crew members on tuna fishing vessels based in Fiji, get their Safety Certificate Short Course at the Fiji Maritime Academy. FMA coordinates the basic certificate 12-day course spread over a month.

According to Ms Kailola three Kalekana men (outside Suva), with the financial support of World Wise Foods Co. in the United Kingdom, have recently completed the course. The UK-based company with Ms Kailola and Big City Marine Consultancy Pte Ltd as the Fiji point of contact is sponsoring 15 men for more than $1000 each, which covers tuition and bus fares.

“All these years Fijians working on fishing vessels did not have any certification. They just walk in and work for on average, $28 a day for three months out at sea,” Ms Kailola said.

“They say they have a contract but they do not have a copy for their record. They return home after three months with say, $600, they do not refer to their contract or bother to calculate whether they have been rightfully paid.

“They cannot do much because the IMR does not apply to the fishing vessels.”

The first three to have completed the FMA short course are Taniela Lui, Emosi Silikiwai and Mosese Are.

The trio after completing the short course, have had their medical check, police clearance and eye test.

They then applied to the Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji (MSAF) for their Seamen’s Employment Record Book (SERB) on which the captain of the vessels on which they work on will record their work and hours.

At the completion of their six-month sea time they can apply for the Deck Watch Rating (DWR) course.

“The basic safety course DWR course provides candidates with basic safety skills, first aid, fire-fighting at sea, and social responsibility skills where they learn how to fight a fire and sea safety.

“Once they have done the basic course they can work on merchant vessels and ferries as well as fishing vessels.

“Men in the Kalekana and nearby Wailekutu areas only think of working on the fishing vessels; we hope to upgrade their skill and upgrade their standard of living by at least having the basic certificate.”

Feedback: karalaini.waqanidrola@fijisun.com.fj



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