SUVA, Dec. 5 (Xinhua) -- The Fiji Navy received on Thursday a research vessel from South Korea as part of the island nation's efforts to strengthen the Fiji Navy's capability to ensure safety at sea.
According to a government statement, speaking at the handover ceremony at the Stanley Brown Base in Suva, capital of Fiji, Acting Minister for Defence and National Security Mahendra Reddy said that this would further boost the Fiji Navy's capability in producing updated data for nautical charts, for the safety of all mariners traversing their waters and in supporting Fiji's Blue Economy.
"As a maritime nation, we rely immensely on our oceans not only for our daily livelihood but as a means for security and prosperity for our people. It is without a doubt that our sea lanes of communications must be secured and safe in order to ensure a prosperous economy," he said.
The hydrographic vessel, RFNS Volasiga, which cost three million U.S. dollars, was donated by the South Korean government.
The vessel, which was built as part of the official development aid project titled "Reinforcing the capacity for responding to climate change in Fiji" by the Korean Hydrographic and Oceanographic Agency, is set to be operational by the end of January next year.
Later last year, the Fiji Navy also received a China-aid hydrographic survey vessel Kacau which is equipped with high-tech equipment for hydro detection. It also may carry out hydrographic and maritime surveys, providing detection data and real-time information.