CAPTAIN Joji Takape has been appointed chief pilot by the PNG Ports Corporation, leading the company’s Pilotage Services Department.

Originally from the Lau Islands, in the east of Fiji, Captain Takape brings with him more than 20 years of experience in the maritime industry.

He embarked on his career in 1990 with the Fiji Marine Department as a cadet officer and worked his way up to be senior captain.

In 2002, he left to join the Fiji Island Maritime Safety Administration as the ship surveyor and was in charge of marine investigations, while being a part-time lecturer at the Fiji Maritime School.

In 2006, Captain Takape decided to go for further studies, enrolling at a school in New Zealand to obtain his Master in Foreign Going license.

This was the key to sail ships anywhere in the world.

With this newly acquired knowledge, he returned to Fiji in the midst of the much-publicised military coup to join the Fiji Ports in 2007 as the trainee pilot at its base on the island nation’s capital, Suva.

In 2012, he rose up the rank to become harbour master for Ports.

Captain Takape has now begun a new voyage at PNGPCL and wants to improve some grey areas that he has already picked out. One of these includes examining the piloting regulations and how the company and staff comply with it.

The Pilotage Services Department is in charge of providing piloting services in the declared pilotage areas in the country such as Port Moresby, Lae, Madang, Alotau, Rabaul and the Kimbe ports.

Pilotage is an important service provided to ships manoeuvring within port limits and coastal waters and ensures that ships are guided safely to berth at the wharves.

It also deals with any pilotage request situations to the PNGPCL sea ports and promotes maritime safety and avoidance of damage to ships, port infrastructure, the marine environment and local community property.

Piloting Services are provided by PNG Ports in 16 operational ports. The six major ports (Port Moresby, Lae, Madang, Alotau, Rabaul and Kimbe) were mandated as Compulsory Pilotage Ports.