As part of their ongoing commitment to improving and strengthening their safety programs, the Department of Fisheries this week proudly launched a comprehensive number of important safety devices and tools covering all aspects of fishery observer and at-sea monitor safety and health requirements that is needed on vessels that are seaworthy.
The Director General of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries, Forestry and Biosecurity, Moses Amos and the Director of the Department of Fisheries, William Naviti jointly launched these items ranging from 2020 License Stickers, Vessel Tracking devices, Observer In-Reach two way Communicator, Personal Locator Beacon (PLB), Observer Life Jackets and the department’s new website at a ceremony in the department’s new complex in Port Vila on Wednesday.
Director General Amos congratulated the Director and staff of the Department of Fisheries for an excellent achievement for the new compliance tools and tracking devices by the Fisheries Compliance Division Team.
In an email to the Department of Fisheries, he said the achievements demonstrated sheer commitment made and displayed by the Compliance Division under Mr Taleo’s leadership proactively supported by Ms Lucy Joy, Mr Felix Toa and the Compliance team members.
“It is a manifestation of excellent team work and an ability to maintain a concerted level of focus on achieving the desired goals amid challenging and fiery emails from the MALFFB DG’s Office in 2019 to set up.
“I take off my hat and salute the Compliance Division Team for taking on the exerted pressure and facing the challenge with the aim to become better and sharper,” said DG Amos.
He said the Compliance team has been able to deliver beyond his expectation as such, he is humbled and at the same time very proud of their excellent achievements.
Director General Amos described the safety of the fishermen and observers in territorial waters has always been our prime objective and he is very proud to witness the launching of these safety devises, tools and products that are ready to be dispatched and utilized this year 2020.
Director William Naviti was proud to announce that Vanuatu is one of the first countries under the Western and Central Pacific Commission (WCPFC) to benefit from these safety devices.
He particularly described the two way communicator devise and the personal beacon as a very special device to be used by our Observers serving in bigger fishing boats outside of Vanuatu waters.
Director Naviti said fishing is not just done within our EEZ but mostly done outside in coastal waters and it can be a very challenging and dangerous job which you need to closely monitor to ensure both a professional working environment and the safety of our Observers and at-sea monitors.
He said the Decentralization Act also gives power to the Provincial authorities to regulate their own fishing levies in smaller fishing boats which continue to operate in provincial waters and on many occasions we do not have the proper tools and devices to monitor the activities of these boats but with the new devices in place, work on monitoring their activities will become more easy and effective.
Principal Data Coordinator, Lucy Joy said for many years fishery observers and at-sea monitors have collected data from commercial fishing and processing vessels, as well as from shore-side processing plants.
“Our top concern is ensuring both a professional working environment and the safety of 52 observers and at-sea monitors. We are committed to ensuring they work in a safe environment, with the right equipment, and on vessels that are seaworthy, she said as she introduced the new devices” said Ms Joy.
She said amongst the materials and equipment that were launched, the Compliance and Licensing Division also include the new 2020 stickers which fishing boats and vessels that have licenses will be required to have them in their boats.
John Mahit said the safety gears which in-reach two-way communicator device which is a device that is designed to keep the observers connected with their office, they can stay in touch globally, send and receive messages, navigate their routes, trigger an SOS to get Mr Mahit said another devise which is very important for the safety of the observers is called Personal Locator Beacon and this device is a personal electronic transmitter used to alert rescuers that there has been a life threatening man over board situation with a need to be rescued.
He explained that when this device is activated the PLB triggers a signal to the satellite, which sends out information to the rescue stations in Australia, New Zealand and Hawaii and alert them to send a rescue team to pick him up.
He also said protection devices such as life jackets are also included in the safety items.
Staff members came together to celebrate the launching of these safety gears. Source: Fisheries Department