Suva Harbour safe from Oil Spill: Naisara

Posted by Losalini Bolatagici

What could have been a major spill in the Suva Harbour last year  from the sunken vessel, Southern Phoenix was avoided, thanks to the quick response by the relevant bodies.

This was stressed by Deputy Secretary for Transport, Lui Naisara while opening the three- days Oil Spill Command Workshop held at Mua-i-walu House yesterday saying that the quick action reassured the greater population of Suva that the harbour was still safe.

“Our very own “State of Preparedness” was tested a few months ago. I can boldly say that the recent sinking of the MV Southern Phoenix aw the quick deployment of our oil spill response equipment. Through a coordinated effort of all agencies (both private and public), Fiji showed an excellent example of how a major spill can be prevented,” Mr Naisara said.

“The timely deployment and quick response executed by Team MSAF assisted by Fiji Ports Corporation Limited, Government Shipping Services and our local based oil companies resulted in a major spill been avoided in Suva Harbour .”

Mr Naisara said it was very important that the decisions by our leaders on site are sound and professional.

“Time was not on our side and we had to take precautionary measures, secure the site and re-assure the greater population of Suva that our harbour was still safe.”

In terms of State readiness for combating marine spill in Fiji waters, he said Fiji has developed and is implementing the National Spill Contingency Plan (NATPLAN) 2015; the National Marine Response Strategy 2018-2022 is been finalised by the Marine Safety Authority of Fiji.

It was revealed that Government is currently working towards the ratification of the International Convention on the Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Cooperation 1990 (OPRC).

Meanwhile, the workshop is organised by MSAF and facilitated by Maritime New Zealand.