MSAF and FPCL address oil spill

February 19, 2024 4:45 pm

The Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji and Fiji Ports Corporation Limited are working hand in hand to address the oil spill at the Lautoka port boundary over the weekend.

In a statement, MSAF says they deployed booms and skimmers to contain and manage the situation effectively.

The Fiji Sugar Corporation experienced an oil spill that overflowed into the port boundary prompting swift and coordinated action from the MSAF and FPCL.

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MASF says the spill, classified as a Tier One spill, necessitated immediate response measures to mitigate environmental impact and safeguard public health, containment and extraction of oil through skimmers and pumps.

It says the collaborative effort includes the utilization of skimmers to pump oil out of the sea, transferring it to FSC trucks and portable tanks for proper disposal.

It also says the spill response team is diligently working to ensure the spill remains within the port boundary, minimizing the potential impact on surrounding areas.

Residents in proximity to the spill site have been advised to stay informed and cooperate with local authorities during this critical period.

As a precautionary measure, MSAF Chief Executive Joeli Cawaki is advising nearby residents to strongly refrain from fishing for the next two weeks to mitigate any potential health implications that may arise from the spill.

Meanwhile, Fiji Sugar Corporation acknowledges the concerns voiced by fishermen, residents, and other stakeholders regarding the recent spill and its potential ramifications on the marine environment.

In a statement the FSC says they want to assure all parties involved that FSC takes this matter seriously. And they are actively collaborating with relevant authorities to conduct a thorough investigation into the incident and ascertain its root cause.

It says environmental stewardship is paramount, and FSC is committed to addressing the situation responsibly and diligently.

In response to the incident, FSC has initiated communication with relevant stakeholders, including local authorities, environmental agencies, and community representatives and provide regular updates on the evolving situation and coordinate response efforts to ensure a comprehensive and effective approach.