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Ports Firm Probes Discharge Of Sewage By Fishing Boat

A fishing vessel allegedly discharging sewage waste in Suva Harbour has become the subject of investigations after a video surfaced on social media revealing the incident. The CEO of Fiji
10 Dec 2018 10:00
Ports Firm Probes Discharge Of Sewage By Fishing Boat
Jonathan Smith

A fishing vessel allegedly discharging sewage waste in Suva Harbour has become the subject of investigations after a video surfaced on social media revealing the incident.

The CEO of Fiji Ports Corporation Ltd (FPCL), Vajira Piyasena, confirmed it would lead an investigation into this after the video went online.

“We are taking strict action if our investigation finds this vessel is involved in illegal dumping,” he said.

“Our Harbor Master and Enforcement Officer will proceed with the investigation.”

According to the video which was taken by Captain Johnathan Smith, a vessel was discharging sewage waste into the water at the Suva Harbour.

“The video was taken as I was going to dive,” he said.

“The sewage on the surface can be seen in the video, but underneath the surface there was more sewage and toilet paper.”

Captain Smith, 45, is the Operations Manager for Dive Centre Fiji Ltd and was the Captain of the traditional ocean-going canoe Uto Ni Yalo between 2010 and 2012.

He said he lodged a formal complaint regarding this with the Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji (MSAF) and the FPCL.

“According to the CEO of MSAF, Captain Hill, all these fishing vessels are supposed to have a sewage holding tank so that no sewage is discharged within the 12 nautical mile range of any land in Fiji,” said Captain Smith.

“FPCL is supposed to provide sewage and rubbish receptacles.”

The video which was posted on Facebook on December 6, 2018, also revealed rubbish that is believed to have been dumped by vessels.

“We always see garbage bags of rubbish floating everywhere in the harbour. We pick up and clean up as much as we can, but sometimes we do not have the time because we have our own commercial diving jobs to get to,” he said.

“We also see a lot of oil and fuel slicks in the harbour and this is just as worse.”
Edited by Epineri Vula

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