Consider the Disabled, Boat Owners Encouraged


THE ship operators in Fiji have been strongly encouraged to invest in vessels that make accessibility easier for persons with disability.

Officiating at the 2020 World Maritime Day Fiji celebrations in Nadi, Minister for Commerce, Trade, Tourism and Transport Faiyaz Koya highlighted that whilst the work of sea-farers and ship workers is important, the rights of our travellers need equal attention.

“This financial year, the Ministry will work on the Maritime Travellers Rights. I look forward to you, our key stakeholders, to provide your views, as it will affect the “Rights of a Passenger” and the “Rights of a Seafarer”.

“As we talk of rights, we, as a nation, need to uphold the Right of Persons with Disabilities. Therefore, the shipping operators are strongly encouraged to invest in vessels that makes accessibility easier for persons with disability.”
Minister Koya stated that as we chart our economic recovery post pandemic, we must ensure that we are building back in a sustainable manner and protecting the health of our ocean, which is critical for the wellbeing of Fijians.

“Apart from being the source of food and employment, our oceans are the bedrock of our tourism industry. So, it is our responsibility to ensure that we protect our oceans. That is why we have national commitments, which include 100 per cent sustainable management of Fiji’s 1.2 million square kilometres of ocean. That is why we are shifting to low-carbon shipping.”

He stated that the pandemic has given an op-opportunity for Fiji to reset and review our way of doing business.

“Organising the World Maritime Day in the West speaks volumes itself. Although the West, has been deeply affected with the shutdown of international tourism, by preserving our ocean and incorporating sustainability in our recovery, we will be able to rebound stronger than before.”

“We are resilient people as we have proven many times in the past. No obstacle that we face today is as strong as our will to endure it.

“This year’s World Maritime Day is to remind all Fijians and businesses of the need to stand together and support one another in this time of crisis. We need work in more collaboration and adapt to the new norm,” he said.