Marine Pollution

MSAF Role in the protection of the Marine Environment
To implement and enforce laws on the protection of the marine environment from ship and any offshore platform or device based pollution and other foreshore activities that are likely to discharge pollutants into the marine environment including inland waterways.

How does this affect me?

  • Pollution negatively impacts marine life which is a source of food for many in Fiji.
  • Oil and harmful or noxious substance spills directly harm marine life.
  • Dumping of fishing gear entangle marine creatures such as fish, turtles, dolphins and other marine mammals which are important to the ecosystem and can cause a decline in marine resources.
  • Sewage waste increasing the population of seaweed which competes with and destroys corals reefs where many marine species live and breed.

Common Types Of Pollution

  • Garbage including food, plastic, operational waste, cargo residue, cooking oil, fishing gear, animal carcasses etc.
  • Discharge of oil into the marine environment (oil spills).
  • Discharge of other harmful or noxious substances (marine spills).

Prevention Tips

  • Do not dump plastics or other ship generated garbage at sea
  • Do not discharge sewage into marine waters at undesignated areas
  • Ensure that MSAF approved Marine Sanitation Device (MSD) systems work properly and discharge ONLY when underway and or at designated area. MSDs should NOT be operated in the harbour or marinas
  • Everything that is not eaten on-board should be returned to shore for disposal


Pleasure Craft owners are to comply with the requirements of the Marine (Pollution Prevention & Management) Regulations 2014 with respect to oil, noxious liquid substance, sewage and garbage ships discharge.
Pleasure craft owners are reminded that direct discharge of oil, noxious liquid substance, sewage and garbage from ships is prohibited in Fiji waters unless for the sake of saving the ship.

Mooring Buoys

Mooring Buoys are an accepted means of securing vessels, providing a suitable alternative to methods such as anchoring. A mooring buoy is attached to the seabed, and consists of a device to which a system of ropes, cables or chains is attached for the purpose of mooring a vessel. This is attached to a float or buoy on the surface to mark the location of the structure.

Under the Maritime (Mooring Buoys) Regulation 2014, all mooring buoys in Fiji waters are required to be registered. Application Forms should be completed and sent to MSAF Suva Office for approval. The link to download the form is buoys.

It should be supported with the following information:

  • Consent of customary fishing rights owners (if applicable)
  • Navigation chart of the area showing location and depth of water
  • Mooring layout diagram including type and size of sinker, buoy, chain & rope
  • TIN Certificate and identification card of the applicant
  • Application fee

The responsibility lies with the applicant to provide satisfactory written evidence to support their application for a buoy mooring. The applicant is to ensure the design criteria for the mooring device and the method of deploying it is suitable for the size and type of the nominated vessel and will not impede or adversely affect other moorings.

Two types of registration are:

(i) Private (restricted) mooring buoy – exclusively for private recreational use by one nominated and approved vessel.

(ii) Commercial (unrestricted) mooring buoy – to support commercial activities of established marine service providers and legitimate businesses. It is the responsibility of the mooring buoy owners to demonstrate to MSAF that the unrestricted mooring is required and is used solely to support the nominated business activity.

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