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High standard beacons

Shayal Devi
Wednesday, November 01, 2017

THE Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji has plans in place to introduce new International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities (IALA) Region A standard beacons, says chief executive officer John Tunidau.

He said this would be done in conjunction with the beaconing and lighthouse works in progress.

Mr Tunidau said the beacons would be of a structure that was more robust and highly conspicuous and effective to mariners with a longer life span.

"The focus is to provide an efficient and effective array of aids to navigation that will enhance safety at sea and certainly saving lives at sea and ensuring the protection of Fiji's pristine marine environment," he said.

"The improvement of aids to navigation system in Fiji will provide confidence to local and foreign shipowners and investors to invest in the shipping industry in Fiji and therefore, grow the economy."

Mr Tunidau said under The International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Chapter V Regulation 13, it was a state responsibility to ensure sufficient and adequate aids to navigation was provided for all ships sailing in Fiji waters based on the volume of traffic and the degree of risk.

"Fiji has in place a network of aids to navigation infrastructure complying with IALA standards that ensures a safe, secure, efficient and sustainable maritime transport system.

"The network of aids to navigation infrastructure includes, a total of 81 lighthouses, about 1400 beacons and three navigational buoys.

"To complement this array of aids to navigation infrastructure, there is also an automatic identification system (AIS) in place at MSAF with five AIS base stations located throughout Fiji covering most of the Fiji waters including the territorial seas of Fiji which gives real time information on travelling ships and people," Mr Tunidau said.

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