Fiji Times Logo

Fiji Time: 8:20 PM on Tuesday 23 September

/ Front page / News

Ships seek lights

Tevita Vuibau
Saturday, January 12, 2013

SHIPPING companies are calling for more to be done to provide proper beacons and lighthouses in the country after spending years operating without the essential maritime aid.

And this is despite paying an annual levy to the former Fiji Islands Maritime Authority for a service that is non-existent.

Speaking to this newspaper, Seaview Shipping Services managing director Durga Prasad said in the Lau Group — his main area of operations — lighthouses and beacons were a luxury.

"From Suva to Lakeba there are no beacons or lighthouses. Even on Moala, Totoya and Matuku there is none," he said.

"The whole upper southern Lau Group has neither lighthouses nor beacons and still we have to pay lighthouse dues.

"This is not right, to charge these fees when the services are not provided," he said.

Mr Prasad said he was lucky to have a compass and navigational aid on board his vessel, however other vessels without the equipment were putting themselves at the mercy of the sea.

Questions sent six weeks ago to the Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji (MSAF), which is levying the fees remained unanswered.

Subsequent attempts to follow up the questions and to gain verification on MSAFs position were also unsuccessful.

Goundar Shipping services director, George Goundar echoed the views of Mr Prasad saying his company was paying thousands of dollars for the lighthouse and beacon levy, in spite of there being very few in use.

"Now we don't know where this money is going but we have to pay it because if we do not, MSAF threatens to seize our vessels."


Fiji Times Front Page Thumbnail

Kaila Front Page ThumbnailFiji Times & Kaila Frontpage PDF Downloads

Use the free Acrobat Reader to view.

Today's Most Read Stories

  1. Who will be in Cabinet
  2. Fiji's Prime Minister
  3. Opposition will be effective
  4. Fight not in vain
  5. Woman, 50, in hospital
  6. Writ of Election returned
  7. Friendship intact
  8. Vegetable prices up
  9. Threatening dives
  10. Taps run dry as crisis worsens

Top Stories this Week

  1. FijiFirst claims 60 per cent Thursday (18 Sep)
  2. Parties reject result Friday (19 Sep)
  3. Leader of the pack Thursday (18 Sep)
  4. No stop Friday (19 Sep)
  5. Fiji First in strong lead: Fiji Elections Saturday (20 Sep)
  6. PM's 1st mission Monday (22 Sep)
  7. FijiFirst leads Thursday (18 Sep)
  8. Elections supervisor to announce final results Friday (19 Sep)
  9. Bainimarama's promise: I will serve all Monday (22 Sep)
  10. Election office begins to receive final results Friday (19 Sep)