Fishing community reminded to steer clear of ‘no-go’ zones

National 1 minute, 23 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

THE fishing community in Kg Sengkurong on Wednesday were the first to participate in an information roadshow series, learning about the rules regarding enacted safety zones near offshore oil rigs and other structures in Brunei waters.

Relevant agencies, including the Royal Brunei Police Force's (RBPF) Marine Police, Marine Department, Fisheries Department, Royal Brunei Navy, Attorney General's Chambers, National Maritime Coordination Centre and Brunei Shell Petroleum (BSP) engaged members of the local fishing community at the Kg Sengkurong Community Hall.

The public, particularly fishing and marine communities, were advised to stay clear of these 500-metre ‘no-go’ zones in the interest of safety and security of the country’s economy.

Unauthorised entry carried risks such as boats and/or people collision and falling objects from platforms, while lit cigarettes and active mobile phones could trigger fires and explosions.

Additionally, illegal encroachment and fishing puts people and the environment at risk, while jeopardising the energy business.

In accordance to ‘The Merchant Shipping (Safety Zones) Order, 1988 and Merchant Shipping (Safety Zones) (Amendment) Order, 2013’, there are safety zones that are prohibited to unauthorised mariners.

The areas are Champion Shoal Oilfield, Magpie Oilfield, Fairley Oilfield, South West Ampa Oilfield, Fairley-Baram Oilfield, Gannet and 500 metres around offshore installations.

According to a statement issued by BSP, the owner, master or person-in-charge of any ship or any person found contravening these laws “shall be guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $100,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years or both and the ship shall be liable to be detained.”

BSP's statement also said that violations of the safety zones have continued over recent years.

The Brunei Times