The Retrofit and Demonstration Project for the Fishing Industry was launched today as part of the Fijian Government's commitment to protecting the ozone layer.
The project's aim is to phase out ozone-depleting technology and follow obligatory requirements of the Montreal Protocol.
The Montreal Protocol is a global agreement to protect the stratospheric ozone layer by phasing out the production and consumption of ozone-depleting substances (ODS).
While officiating at the launch this morning at Holiday Inn, in Suva, Minister for Waterways and Environment Hon. Dr. Mahendra Reddy said that his Ministry took their responsibility to safeguard the environment seriously, highlighting the project launch today was another milestone which showcased their commitment to protecting the ozone layer.
"The protocol is a landmark agreement that has successfully reduced the global production, consumption and emissions of ozone-depleting substances."
He added that the consumption of hydro-chlorofluorocarbon (HCFC) in the fishing industry posed a significant challenge in achieving HCFC phasing-out, as the demonstration of alternative technologies for the fishing industry was an important area that needed addressing as the initiation project was a contributor to finally resolving the issue.
“Given the strategy for the HCFC phase-out proposed by the Government, it is essential that enabling activities to adopt HCFC free equipment is necessary.
“The HCFC consumption in the fishing industry sector poses a significant challenge in achieving the targets set out by the Montreal Protocol given the fact that the industry has a very high rate of HCFC consumption. Therefore, it is vital that while we maintain and grow the industry, we do all we can to convert its HCFC refrigeration systems to non-ODS systems.”
“Through this HCFC Phase-out Management Plan, the Fishing industry will undergo a transition from ozone-depleting substances (ODS) to non-ODS technologies in compliance with the Montreal Protocol obligations.
Hon. Reddy reiterated the objective of the project is to demonstrate and expedite the adoption of HCFC free alternatives through targeted retrofit programs on locally flagged fishing vessels using HCFC based refrigeration system.
Minister Reddy stated that the Ministry of Waterways and Environment together with its stakeholders was confident in reaching a further reduction milestone target in HCFC consumption by 35% by early 2020.
He further reiterated that retrofit programs in the fisheries sector were aimed at replacement and changes in components to make them compatible with non-ODS technologies and to fulfill replacement of refrigeration systems.
The retrofit program basically provides substantial participant incentives for replacing existing equipment with high-efficiency equipment and for installing new control systems that can improve the efficiency of vessel’s operational procedures and processes.