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Fiji Marks World Maritime Day

The Permanent Secretary for Works, Transport and Public Utilities, Francis Kean was chief guest at the World Maritime Day celebrations at Subrail Park in Labasa yesterday, He said huge strides
26 Sep 2014 08:34
Fiji Marks World Maritime Day

The Permanent Secretary for Works, Transport and Public Utilities, Francis Kean was chief guest at the World Maritime Day celebrations at Subrail Park in Labasa yesterday,

He said huge strides had been taken to revamp the maritime legislation from the 1986 Marine Act to the introduction of Marine Transport Decree, Ships Registration Decree and its 36 regulations which are to be implemented next month.

“With the introduction of these two new legislations, we will also be introducing seven new International Maritime Organisation (IMO) conventions,” Mr Kean said.

“Namely the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, International Convention of Maritime Search and Rescue, International Convention on the control and management of ships, International Convention on the Control of Anti-Fouling System on Ships, the Convention on Facilitation of International Maritime Traffic, the Protocol on Preparedness, Response and Co-operation to pollution incidents by hazardous and noxious substances and International Convention on Salvage.

“For developing countries like Fiji, this is a mammoth task that the Bainimarama Government, the Ministry of Transport and the Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji (MSAF) will not shy away from in its effective implementation” Mr Kean said.

“Apart from the major transformation like the new maritime legislation, several other keys areas of the industry have been revamped to ensure a vibrant and dynamic maritime industry.

“This includes the review of the Fiji Franchise Shipping Scheme which has been successfully completed and now awaiting implementation.”

He said Government had subsidised the shipping scheme as an effective strategy for boosting the local economy in many of these islands under the uneconomical shipping routes.

Meanwhile, members of the public, students and parents also came together to celebrate the day at Subrail Park in Labasa yesterday.

The theme, ‘International Marine Organisation(IMO) Conventions: Effective Implementation’, was to focus on those IMOs, treaty instruments, which have not entered into force, as well as those for which ratification by states and effective national implementation would yield significant benefits.

Chief guest Mr Kean said World Maritime Day was first celebrated in 1978 with only 21 members and now it had 67 member states and three associate members.

“The World Marine day is a global initiative by the IMO to remind people of the importance of the marine industry in particular, shipping safety, maritime security and protection of the marine environment” Mr Kean said.

As part of the day’s events, the Permanent Secretary also laid a wreath in the Labasa River in memory of those people who had lost their lives in sea.

Feedback: peni.drauna@fijisun.com.fj

 



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