Environment

Oil spill response equipment worth $1.25m for maritime protection

The New Zealand Government donated oil spill response equipment worth $1.25million to minimise the effects of oil spills on Fiji’s marine environment. Speaking at the official handover ceremony at the Kings Wharf in Suva, Assistant Minister for Local Government, Housing and Environment Hon. Lorna Eden thanked the New Zealand Government for its continued support towards […]

Peni Shute

August 10, 2016 7:10 am

The New Zealand Government donated oil spill response equipment worth $1.25million to minimise the effects of oil spills on Fiji’s marine environment.

Oil spill response equipment donated by the New Zealand Government yesterday. (DEPTFO)
Oil spill response equipment donated by the New Zealand Government yesterday. (DEPTFO)

Speaking at the official handover ceremony at the Kings Wharf in Suva, Assistant Minister for Local Government, Housing and Environment Hon. Lorna Eden thanked the New Zealand Government for its continued support towards Fiji’s maritime sector.

Minister Eden said the protection of Fiji’s marine environment from accidental oil spills was vital in light of an increased maritime trade and other maritime activities locally and within the region.

EDEN: “The primary purpose of responding to marine spill is to minimise the negative impacts on the marine environment, coastal communities, tourism industry and Fiji’s economy as a whole.”

The equipment was part of the recommendation made by a team which carried out the Marine Pollution Risk Assessment for Fiji in February 2015.

The First Secretary of the NZ High Commission Mr Brendan Sherry and Assistant Minister for Local Government, Housing and Environment Hon. Lorna Eden at the handover of oil spill response equipment. (DEPTFO)
The First Secretary of the NZ High Commission Mr Brendan Sherry and Assistant Minister for Local Government, Housing and Environment Hon. Lorna Eden at the handover of oil spill response equipment. (DEPTFO)

This team included Fiji’s Department of Environment, Maritime New Zealand, Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Program (SPREP) and the Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji.

EDEN: “After completion of this assessment, a recommendation made was to establish oil spill response equipment stockpiles and necessary facilities in high-risk areas such as Ports of Suva, Lautoka, Levuka and Malau to address Tier II/III marine spills.”

Assistant Minister Eden said the National Response Capability will be overseen by MASF and strategic stakeholders such as:

  • Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport
  • Ministry of Local Government (Municipalities)
  • Ministry of iTaukei Affairs (Provincial Councils)
  • Ministry of Defense
  • National Fire Authority (NFA)
  • Department of Environment
  • Agencies under the National Strategy for Marine Spill Response for Fiji Waters.

She said the “establishment of oil spill response equipment in high-risk areas together with the guidance of the National Strategy for Marine Spill Response for Fiji Waters will provide a platform and proactive approach that will allow Fiji to effectively respond to major spills in our waters.”

MSAF officials will also undergo further training to use this specialised equipment.

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