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Fiji Time: 8:46 AM on Saturday 19 April

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Navy to tighten laws

Ana Madigibuli
Thursday, February 14, 2013

ENVIRONMENTAL laws in Fiji's open waters are expected to tighten up following a workshop on the issue yesterday.

About 15 navy personnel were part of the joint training multilateral environment agreement workshop at the Stanley Naval Base, Walu Bay.

The workshop was to strengthen the effective implementation of environmental laws with the help of the Department of Environment and Fiji Revenue and Customs Authority.

Participants were taken through the various multilateral agreements that Fiji was a party to and how they were to be implemented nationally.

In particular, focus was directed to relationships including networking between the Department of Environment and Fiji Navy on aspects of border control.

Captain Ilaitia Tuisawau of the Fiji Naval Force said most environmental laws were new concepts for their officers.

"These workshops are a great platform to develop their knowledge in being good environment stewards and how to enforce laws at a national level," Captain Tuisawau said.

"We are the first point of contacts at marine borders so this workshop will help our officers identify any illegal activity like fishing vessels fishing in our waters without authorisation," he said.

Fiji Revenue and Customs Authority officers were also part of the joint training workshop and shared their experiences working with the Department of Environment officers at Fiji's borders.