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International Maritime Day marked in Tonga

Radio & TV Tonga, Nuku’alofa, 24/10/2018

The Marine and Ports Division of the Ministry of Infrastructure this morning marked the International Maritime Day focusing on safety.

This year marks 70 years of the International Maritime Day also 18 years of Tonga’s partnership with the International Maritime Organization – IMO.

In his remarks, the Deputy Prime Minister Hon. Semisi Sika highlighted the significance of this event in Tonga.

“Today we have marked 70 years since the International Maritime Organization Convention was adopted and also 18 years of Tonga being an active member state of the IMO. Tonga has upheld the aim of this organization which ensures that is people continue to benefit from its shipping. Hand-in-hand with our stakeholders these past years has helped repel this industry to new elevations and efficiencies. We do look forward to the future, thus hope for Tonga’s maritime industry in the years to come.”

Meanwhile, a representative from Fishing Islands Shipping Agency – FISA, Sela Fakapelea acknowledged the important role women play in the maritime sector.

“The 2019 theme – “Empowering Women in the Maritime Community” will focus on providing opportunity to raise awareness on the importance of gender equality. It will highlight the important contribution of women all over the world to the maritime sector. “

During the program, special prizes were awarded in recognition of those from various transportation councils including whale watching, passenger vessels and cargo, and fishing vessels.

The CEO of the Tofa Ramsay Shipping – Tuna Likiliki expressed how happy she was for her award.

“One of our ships is the MV Vaomapa and this year’s award is for most compliant. It’s a really special award because maritime in the shipping industry, being compliant is equal to being safe so that’s good for all passengers and cargo that use us and it’s a nice day for the Government who govern our sector and us in the Private sector to come together to recognize the importance of our contribution to Tonga’s economy.”

This year Marine and Ports Division hosted its first Art Competition, with the intention of public awareness focusing on forms 4, 5 and 6 students with the theme “Our Heritage – Better Shipping for a better future.”

Marine and Ports are engaging High School students in Tongatapu on their creativity and ideas through an illustrative medium of their knowledge on current Maritime Affairs.

Competitors will be winning cash prizes and each prize will be presented to each winning student today.

The Marine and Ports Staff have also chosen 4 high schools where outreach programs are held, giving students’ career opportunities in the Maritime sector.

This is the second time Tonga has marked International Maritime Day with last year being the first year.

© Radio and Television Tonga News