NATION

Maritime Industry Impacts Development: Captain Hill

About 95 per cent of trade that take place locally is done through shipping, says Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji acting chief executive officer Captain Philip Hill. He said the
28 Sep 2018 11:00
Maritime Industry Impacts Development: Captain Hill
Students from the Fiji Maritime Academy (FMA) during the World Maritime Day celebration at Ratu Sukuna Park on September 27, 2018. Photo: Simione Haravanua

About 95 per cent of trade that take place locally is done through shipping, says Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji acting chief executive officer Captain Philip Hill.

He said the maritime industry had an impact on development in any nation, and about 80 per cent of trade was done through shipping, inter­nationally.

He said one of the indi­cators was how resilient Fiji bounced back after Tropical Cyclone Win­ston.

“That was made pos­sible through a reliable domestic shipping ser­vice providing the con­struction materials, the rations and relief equip­ment required in those stricken areas,” Captain Hill said.

“MSAF’s objective is to improve the services that we provide, to pro­vide timely and pro­fessional services and at the same time take MSAF services to the ru­ral and maritime com­munities.

“That is part of Gov­ernment’s initiatives to take services to all communities and that is what we are doing,” he said.

“We also have an obliga­tion where we do train­ing for boat masters and class six restricted mas­ter engineer.

“That has been done from 2012 and to date we have trained more than 7600 boat operators and we have continued to do training.”

He said the MSAF was now working in partner­ship with the Ministry of Youth and Sports to empower youths to gain employment through sustainable fishing and to improve safety on boat operations.

MSAF hosted the World Maritime Day celebra­tion at the Sukuna Park in Suva yesterday with the theme “Our Herit­age, Better Shipping for a Better Future.”

Ten schools took part in the day long event, which began with a pro­cession from the Flea Market to Sukuna Park.

Celebrations also cen­tred around acknowl­edging seafarers for the high-risk job that they do on board vessels.

“Most of us do not ap­preciate it, but seafarers know the risks that are involved,” Captain Hill said.

“Through their train­ing and their profes­sionalism at sea we have reduced accidents and incidents and have provided safe transpor­tation both internation­ally and domestically.

“We have seafarers, who are engaged in in­ternational shipping, very senior seafarers who are there as mas­ters and chief engineers sailing around Europe and South East Asia.

“They have not been highlighted anywhere so with this celebration we will also have an award that will be pro­vided in the evening for all stakeholders.

“These stakeholders and sea farers will be recognised for their achievements.”

Edited by Percy Kean

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