Thirty two extra officers will be recruited because of the increase in workload created by the recent influx of superyachts says the Fiji Biosecurity Authority
Authorities deputy chief executive officer Waisiki Gonemaituba said their officers were stretched because they were trying to cater for the many yachts entering our waters. He said rise in arrivals was because of the recently endorsed 2010 Super Yacht Charter Decree.
“We need the extra manpower,” he said.
He said the decree which was endorsed on March 30, 2010 allowed for superyachts to charter and cruise in Fiji.
“There have not been any significant changes in the way we conduct our operations of inspecting and registering the yachts that arrive on our shores. We are, however, trying to cope with a great number of yachts and are in the process of interviewing successful candidates,” Mr Gonemaituba said.
He said he was not too certain about the number of yachts in the country ù but stated there were a lot more this year.
Attorney-General and Tourism Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum last year highlighted the superyacht industry as a top earner in the tourism sector.
Mr Gonemaituba said the normal procedure for officers involved boarding yachts with customs, immigration and health officers for inspection.
“All the officers check documentations and the clearings from the last port they were at before and they also ask the boat owners questions pertaining to whatever they are carrying onboard.
“If they are carrying fruits and vegetables we ask them to seal the goods in containers and jars and they are only to use them once they have left our waters. This is because we have no idea where these products are from as they might be from a high-risk country and could contain pests. We also inform them that they are not allowed to use these products during the duration of their stay in our waters.
Also if they have live animals, we ask that they never to take the animal ashore or risk paying a fine of $1000 and losing their pet,” he said.
He said once the boats were fully inspected and cleared the yacht owners were handed permits to cruise our waters and were asked to return to their port of entry for clearance before leaving.
Source Sera Whippy The Fiji Times On Line http://www.fijitimes.com/story.aspx?id=171117