Fiji Implements Mandatory Drug Testing for Seafarers

The Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji (MSAF) is set to implement mandatory drug testing for all licensed seafarers operating boats, ships, and vessels in a bid to enhance maritime safety across Fijian waters.

MSAF Chief Executive Officer Joweli Cawaki announced that this decision is part of a comprehensive legislative review scheduled to begin this year. The initiative aims to bolster safety standards and ensure the wellbeing of crew members at sea.

Cawaki stated that seafarers undergoing training at the Fiji Maritime Academy would be subject to drug testing as part of their licensing process.

“There are currently no conditions attached to the licenses issued by MSAF, but introducing mandatory drug tests is a major priority,” Cawaki said.

He cited numerous cases involving drugs onboard boats, ships, and vessels as a catalyst for this initiative. “To deter such illegal activities, we will start implementing drug tests. The initial phase will begin at the Maritime Academy to ensure that new licensees are drug-free and aware of the consequences of drug use,” he added.

Existing license holders who are actively operating vessels will also be required to undergo regular drug tests.

“These tests will be conducted periodically to ensure continuous compliance with safety protocols and uphold the highest standards of professionalism and safety within the maritime industry,” Cawaki mentioned.

“The safety of our maritime operations and the wellbeing of our seafarers are paramount. Introducing mandatory drug testing is a critical step towards maintaining a safe and responsible maritime environment in Fiji,” he emphasized.

This measure aims to prevent accidents and incidents caused by impaired judgment due to drug use, thereby safeguarding both human lives and marine resources.

“If a seafarer tests positive for drugs, their license will be immediately suspended, and penalties will be applied according to the severity of the offense,” Cawaki stated.

This strict enforcement underscores MSAF’s commitment to zero tolerance for substance abuse within the maritime sector, ensuring only competent and responsible individuals operate vessels in Fijian waters.

The introduction of mandatory drug testing aligns with international maritime standards and best practices.

Popular Categories

Latest News

Search the website