THE public, particularly the fishing and marine communities, must adhere to the 500-metre ‘no-go’ zone near oil rigs and structures because it can jeopardise safety and consequently, the country’s economy.
Risks of such activities include collisions between boats and people, falling objects from platforms as well as fires and explosions triggered by cigarettes and handphones.
It was as planned that the first series of the stakeholder engagement to raise awareness on the enacted safety zones at the Brunei waters was recently conducted by the relevant agencies.
In accordance with ‘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-metre around offshore installations.
The engagement was conducted by Brunei Darussalam’s Marine Police, Marine Department, Fisheries Department, Royal Brunei Navy, Attorney General Chambers, National Maritime Coordination Centre and Brunei Shell Petroleum Company Sdn Bhd with the local fishing community at Dewan Masyarakat Kg Sengkurong.
According to a press release, the consequences of encroachments and illegal fishing threaten not only people and the environment, but also the oil and gas business and the country’s economy. Whoever is in charge of any ship or any person found contravening ‘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’.