10 April, 2019, 9:15 am
THE Fiji Fishing Industry Association (FFIA) vessels are comparatively small and employment of women at sea is slightly seen as a new concept in a male dominated industry.
The association also notes the challenges that the sector faces in the limited availability of local trained deckhands.
Fiji Fishing Association president Radhika Kumar when handing over certificates to graduates for the Deckhand Fishing Program at the Fiji Maritime Academy last week said the graduation was the first step to those wishing to advance to a command position of fishing vessels in Fiji and abroad.
“The course you have taken will be internationally accredited when Fiji adopts what is known as the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Fishing Vessel Personnel, 1995,” she said.
“What is new and unique to Fiji is the addition of a module in the curriculum devoted to sustainability and environment. Probably this is a world first, emphasising Fiji total commitment to a sustainable fishing industry which acknowledges environmental concerns.
“Whilst considerable opportunities exist within the Fiji Fishing Industry I must caution that the way forward is not easy. This is particularly so for those female students who have advanced so far.”
She encouraged graduating students to pay for their Seaman’s Employment Record Book (SERB) and Safety Certificates with the Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji.
“Immediately contact our office at Gordon Street and thereafter go to all fishing companies here in Suva to show your interest,” she said.
Graduate Joana Kasani of Navaga Village in Koro said receiving her deckhand training certificate would offer her great work opportunities especially since she has to now complete her sea time after graduation.