MARITIME Safety Authority of Fiji (MSAF) CEO Neale Slack has applauded the changes in the amended and repealed Maritime Transport Decree 2013 (MTD) which will come into effect on March 5, 2014.
Mr Slack said there were several big changes to the decree which did not feature in the Marine Act of 1986.
"One of the major areas of change in the Maritime Transport Decree is that a large portion of that is about protection of the marine environment," Mr Slack said.
"So a major change is that we have a requirement for the protection of the environment which has increased dramatically over the years."
Mr Slack added there was also the addition of seven International Maritime Organisation conventions which has lifted the standard of the industry.
"MSAF is mindful of the real challenges that exist with respect to the implementation of the convention-related obligations, which have now by virtue of the MTD, become national obligations.
"As a result of the enormity of obligations and responsibilities now imposed by the MTD, MSAF is committed to ensure that a practical and manageable approach is pursued."
He said they were now working with vessel owners to encourage compliance with the new decrees.