MEDIA RELEASE – For immediate release 5 November, 2019
The Fiji Navy in partnership with the Australian government funded Market Development Facility (MDF) and Kenua Fiji officially handed over the hydrographic survey results of the Yasawa-i-rara island anchorage today.
The Australian High Commissioner to Fiji, John Feakes, and Kenua Fiji National Operations Manager, Bradley Bower, officiated the handover of the data received from the acting Chief of Navy Captain, Marika Vosawale.
MDF supported a new Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) between Fiji Navy (responsible for hydrographic mapping in Fiji) and Kenua Fiji, the largest local cruise-ship agent in Fiji, to undertake the hydrographic mapping for the Yasawa-i-rara region, which will facilitate the return of cruise ships to this remote region at the northern tip of the Yasawa islands group.
Australian High Commissioner to Fiji, John Feakes, said Australian Government, through MDF, was pleased to be able to broker this innovative partnership between the Fiji Navy and Kenua. “These new maps will unlock economic activity for remote communities in the Northern Yasawas. Supporting tourism activity across the Fiji islands is a priority for the Fiji Government and I am pleased Australia’s aid program is able to support this in tangible ways.”
The hydrographic survey was undertaken over a three-week period in August this year. The ocean depth data gathered will be used in updating the nautical maps to the required magnification to allow for the safe passage of cruise ships and larger vessels.
MDF Fiji Country Director, Victoria Carter, said MDF has been seeking to support the Fijian Government’s 2021 Tourism Development Plan in several areas, including the development of improved nautical charts with the aim of growing nautical tourism in Fiji. “We are proud to have supported this PPP model which has successfully unlocked Yasawa-i-rara as a cruise ship destination and we look forward to other potential island destinations being mapped to promote more geographic inclusion and livelihood opportunities for cruise tourism in Fiji”.
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