The Marine Safety Authority of Fiji is considering making random drug tests mandatory for all seafarers in an effort to combat the illegal drug trade across maritime islands. Chief executive officer Joweli Cawaki expressed concern about the emerging dangers of drugs being transported in private and commercial vessels, stating that maritime transport vessels are heavily involved in this movement of drugs. The MSAF is working on legislative reviews to strengthen their response to perpetrators, as there are currently no policies in place to deal with seafarers or companies caught being involved in the illegal trade.
Cawaki emphasized the need for random drug tests for all seafarers and even for students studying in maritime schools. Additionally, the MSAF is considering implementing policy changes to delicence suspects and deregister companies found to be involved in the illegal drug trade. They are aiming to act as a deterrent for seafarers and commercial shipping companies, and are working on legislative reviews to address the issue.
The MSAF’s focus on combating the illegal drug trade in maritime transport vessels is evident in their consideration of mandatory random drug tests for seafarers and policy changes to delicence suspects and deregister companies involved in the trade. They are also working on legislative reviews to strengthen their response to perpetrators, as there are currently no policies in place to address this issue.