IMO and the Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji (MSAF) hosted a national maritime security workshop in the capital and Fiji’s major port city Suva. It brought together security professionals from Government including law enforcement agencies, ports and the shipping industry with the aim of enhancing maritime security in the waters of the island nation of Fiji which is so dependent on shipping.
This 3-day workshop provided a forum for exchanging information and experience among the stakeholders in the maritime security field and talks among participants yielded potential for further cooperation among terminal operators and law enforcement agencies.
Participants were first given a refresher on IMO’s security measures contained in SOLAS chapter XI-2 and the ISPS Code and its related guidance adopted by the Organization in the course of 10 years after these measures became mandatory on 1 July 2004. The workshop went beyond classroom training and participants went to the port of Suva to study the practical implementation of the ISPS Code provisions in the port. The more than 20 participants were given the opportunity to visit the entire port facility, ask security personnel how they ensure the performance of their security duties before heading to the port control centre that hosts the CCTV monitoring station. The practical element of the workshop was complemented by ship visits and participants went on board the Marshall Island flagged car carrier MV Liberty and the Hong-Kong (China)–flagged general cargo ship MV Chenan. The ship crews’ were very accommodating and gave a useful insight in the ships’ security measures and challenges. The last day of the workshop comprised a set of presentations on ship and port facility security auditing principles so as to enable security personnel and Government to test the effectiveness of the security regime in ports and on board ships.
The national workshop will be followed by a regional workshop in the end of August this year taking the momentum MSAF has gained in promoting maritime security in their waters and to set an example for other nations in the South Pacific to follow their lead.