FHTA Sustainable Tourism: Safe Seas and Clean Ocean at the Port Denarau Marina

FHTA Sustainable Tourism: Safe Seas and Clean Ocean at the Port Denarau Marina

FHTA, 2 July 2022 – The ocean is important to the world and to Fiji.

It provides the air we breathe, regulates climates, provides food and medicine, is a transportation highway and it powers economies.

With over 140,000 square nautical miles of ocean that spans the Fiji group, boating is crucial to both marine transportation and tourism.

As boating continues to increase in popularity, it is essential that our ocean sailors understand the potential impact they can have on our unique marine environment and why they must be environmentally friendly in the operation and maintenance of their vessels.

Denarau Island’s Port Denarau Marina Ltd (PDML) was the first marina in the South Pacific to be accredited Level 3 Clean Marina and “Fish Friendly” status in early May 2017 by Marina Industries Association (MIA).

They have since been audited again in 2021 and reaccredited for another 3 years. The independent Clean Marina auditor was particularly impressed by the significant efforts of PDML to improve environmental practices in and around the marina.

The Clean Marina Program is a voluntary accreditation program for Marinas, Yacht Clubs, boat clubs, slipways, boatyards and associated industry operators which emphasizes environmental and managerial best management practices that surpass regulatory requirements.

A facility must meet all legal regulatory requirements and a percentage of voluntary best management practices to become a Certified Clean Marina.

A typical Clean Marina Program will have components that cover marina sighting and design considerations, marina management, emergency planning, petroleum control, sewage and grey water, stormwater management, waste containment and disposal and boater education.

Port Denarau Marina is the largest private marina in Fiji and was designed to cater for both commercial and private vessels and is part of the Denarau tourism hub that is a gateway to the Mamanuca and Yasawa Island groups.

The Marina includes three main jetties or wharves, two of which are used by commercial operators (e.g., ferries, fishing charters) and the third by private vessel-owners.

The private jetty includes several superyacht berths.

The Marina also provides moorings and wharf facilities for temporary or day use by residents in the area and cruise ship ferries.
It provides refuelling and pump-out facilities, a hardstand area with a vessel lift, a dry dock, a boat yard, and several tenanted workshops (that can provide vessel provisioning, engineering, maintenance and supplies) as well as retail and restaurant precincts.
The Marina directly offers berthing/mooring, leasing, boat retrieval and launching, pump-out and dry stacking services.

Achieving Clean Marina and Fish Friendly Marina accreditation was very important for the Marina and the wider community because the accreditation criteria provided them with a framework to plan and prioritise their infrastructure spending.

In a fast-developing marine tourism destination such as Fiji, it was important that marinas like Port Denarau Marina played a strong environmental role that has effectively led the way in sustainable tourism initiatives.

The Clean Marina program has provided important guidelines for them to provide this leadership for which their achievements are something that the PDML team, and indeed the country, can be proud of.

The United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal 14 states that we must strive to “Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.”

The Marina does its best to contribute to this goal by being able to confirm –
• a Clean Marina Rating
• a “Fish Friendly Marina”
• a back water pump facility for vessels
• a filtration system for water runoffs from the hard stand and boatyard before it enters the waterways.
• confirmed the use of marine-friendly substances in the Marina since 2017.

The Marina was also the first in Fiji to start using renewable energy to reduce its power costs and has now had solar panels installed in 40% of its buildings.

It also champions species conservation, marine and coastal conservation, water and waste management, and rubbish and marine recycling programs.

With a Level 4 Fish Friendly Accreditation (FFA) from the MIA that was developed to inform marina managers on how to improve fish habitat and species protection within the marina; it may not be as widely appreciated by the port’s tenants or customers how much effort has gone into the sustainability efforts of a commercial operation that can often be seen as simply infrastructure.
It is however not just a valuable resource that is a transport hub and key tourism connection point; but it is also effective in maintaining and promoting responsible planning to ensure that the infrastructure is fish friendly (modifying existing structures to improve their value), managing stormwater, keeping invaders out, managing chemical, oil, fuel and fire risks, managing waste and creating this awareness for its customers and tenants.

It’s safe to say that Port Denarau Marina does its fair bit for the environment in which it operates and it is adamant that those who use its facilities and services fall in line with its processes and procedures.

This is what makes Port Denarau Marina an industry leader in this regard, not just for Fiji but for the entire Pacific region and we are just as proud to share their story.

For information on the above, you can contact FHTA (info@fhta.com.fj) or contact Port Denarau Marina Ltd directly.

Published in the Fiji Sun on 2 July 2022