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Government Puts In Place Policy For Foreign Vessels

Government Puts In Place Policy For Foreign Vessels
Oil spill at the Suva Port on Saturday April 28, 2018.
May 16
16:34 2018

Acting Prime Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum has reiterated that Government has put in place a number of policy and legislation to set out the roles and responsibilities of various agencies that would help manage and minimise risks associated with fishing vessels dumping pollutants into the harbour.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum was responding to questions raised in Parliament on Monday by the Leader of  Opposition Ro Teimumu Kepa on what actions Government took to minimise negative environmental implications on marine resources caused by a recent fishing vessel at the Suva Harbour.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said the fishing vessel that was reported to have pumped oil pollutants to the Suva Harbour  recently fined $20,000.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said the spill was a tier one spill, and was within the capability and the resources of an individual port operator to manage and mitigate the spillage.

He said in this case, the fishing vessel had pumped oil pollutants into the sea while the vessel was docked at the slip way.

He said foreign vessels did not respect the environmental standard Fiji had and this needed to be enforced.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said the moment the incident occurred, Fiji Ports Corporation Limited (FPCL) deployed their pilot boats and pollution officers to the slipway.

“FPCL have the relevant oil spill equipment and chemicals to clean up the oil slip and residue and this was effectively utilized to control and mitigate any deadly environmental impacts from such a spill,” he said.

He said FPCL issued an infringement notice to the owners of the fishing vessel for breach of the Seaports Management Act regulations related to that and penalised them $20,000.

He said the penalty compensated FPCL for the clean-up. He added that the three key agencies such as Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji (MSAF) FPCL and the Department of Environment were involved in monitoring foreign fishing vessels entering Fiji waters or dock at sea ports.


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