The Department of Conservation (DOC) has become the single largest vessel operator in the new Maritime Operator Safety System (MOSS) introduced last year by Maritime New Zealand, with 84 vessels covered by its new MOSS operator certificate.
MOSS requires operators to develop a safety system that covers not only the seaworthiness of vessels, but their safe operation, including identifying hazards and how they are managed.
It replaced the previous safe ship management system in July last year, with around 1700 commercial operators moving into MOSS by 2018.
Some operators have opted to enter MOSS on a fleet basis, dividing their vessels into different fleets around the country and transitioning to the new system in stages.
DOC’s single operator plan is likely to cover the largest number of vessels in the MOSS system.
Maritime NZ General Manager Maritime Standards Sharyn Forsyth congratulated DOC on completing the process.
“Obviously people associate DOC with land, but the department is also one of the biggest vessel operators in the country,” she said.
“MOSS puts the emphasis on vessel owners operating safely and creating clear lines of responsibility for the day-to-day safe operation of vessels. DOC has shown in their operator plan that they have good systems in place; and a commitment to continuous improvement.”
Ms Forsyth said the new system would strengthen the relationship between Maritime NZ and operators.
“We appreciate that MOSS is the most significant change in the maritime sector for 15 years and is challenging for operators, and we are working with them to make the transition as smooth as possible.”
“DOC has over 80 vessels operating in many different environments over the whole of NZ (including off-shore islands),” says DOC’s Deputy Director-General Operations, Mike Slater.
“The implementation of MOSS has brought greater clarity and accountability to the management of the department’s vessel fleet. It provides an excellent platform from which DOC can continue to build on maritime safety.”
To date, 500 operators have entered MOSS or are going through the entry process.
Background from DOC about its fleet
DOC has responsibility for approximately 17,700 km2, of New Zealand’s marine area in addition to freshwater species in New Zealand. Our rangers are out and about on DOC’s fleet of 84 vessels working to protect our hugely diverse and special marine environment. Tasks include, monitoring, enforcing no take in marine reserves, patrolling coastline and advocating for marine species.
As well the tasks listed above, our boats are used to transport our staff to places not accessible by road or to or around remote islands to undertake threatened species management, plant and animal weed control, hut and track maintenance. It would not be possible to undertake our work without the use of these vessels.
The majority of our fleet are vessels of less than seven meters in length but range in size from 2.6 metres to 22.25 metres in length. They operate in rivers, lakes and sea throughout NZ based from Keri Keri in the north to Stewart Island in the south.