SPC divisions collaborate to develop local pilot training tool PDF Print E-mail

Tuesday 4 June 2013, Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), Suva, Fiji –



Local pilots play an important role in the safe passage of container ships and other large vessels into and out of Pacific ports. Foreign shipmasters rely on pilots for their local knowledge of depths, currents, locations of wrecks, reefs, navigation aids, and other potential obstacles. And now, updated oceanographic studies of Suva Harbour’s sea floor and currents are being used to localise and improve a computer-simulated training for ships’ pilots in the Pacific region.


A recent collaboration between two divisions – the Economic Development Division (EDD) and the Applied Geoscience and Technology (SOPAC) Division – of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) has produced the first simulation of a Pacific Island port.


According to SPC Shipping Advisor John Rounds, the computerised simulator is a critical training tool because it can test a pilot’s ship-handling competence under a variety of challenging wind and sea conditions without the expenditure and risk of practising on actual vessels. ‘It’s like a blown up computer game,’ he says.


Last Updated on Monday, 10 June 2013 09:19
Fifth Pacific Maritime Search and Rescue workshop begins in Suva PDF Print E-mail

Tuesday 4 June 2013, Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), Suva, Fiji –



The fifth Pacific Regional Maritime Search and Rescue workshop got under way in Suva yesterday, with about 70 participants from search and rescue (SAR) authorities, government and non-state organisations in the Pacific region in attendance.


The five-day workshop is organised by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) in collaboration with the International Maritime Organization (IMO) with support from Fiji’s Ministry of Defence, National Security and Immigration.


Speaking at the opening of the workshop, IMO Deputy Director/Head of Operational Safety Section of Maritime Safety Division said that under the memorandum of understanding IMO has with SPC, SPC has been delegated to implement maritime safety-related activities in the Pacific.


He added, ‘The region's lack of adequate infrastructure and skill management in maritime safety administration and training are the main obstacles to meeting international standards. Despite a great deal of work that has been done through the implementation of regional and national activities, there are still many issues that need to be addressed to ensure that continued progress is made towards strengthening the response capabilities within the region.’

Last Updated on Monday, 10 June 2013 09:13
CPSC moves steadily towards regulating shipping PDF Print E-mail

Monday 27 May 2013, Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), Suva, Fiji –



The Central Pacific Shipping Commission (CPSC) – an initiative born out of Pacific small island states’ calls for reliable, affordable and sustainable shipping – moves steadily towards donning its much awaited role of regulating shipping in the central Pacific region later this year.


The CPSC Technical Committee, comprising permanent secretaries responsible for transport in Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru and Tuvalu, met at SPC’s Suva Regional Office, Fiji from 21–23 May to begin preparatory work for the upcoming meeting of CPSC commissioners (ministers of transport) in mid-2013.


Once the commission begins operation, companies vying to provide a shipping service to the central Pacific countries will be required to register with CPSC and allowed to operate in the area only with the commission’s approval.


Shipping companies that currently provide service to Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru and Tuvalu include Matson, Neptune Pacific Line, Pacific Direct Line and Swire.

Last Updated on Monday, 27 May 2013 16:22

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