Fiji Time: 9:37 PM on Sunday 29 May

Fiji Times Logo

/ Front page / News

Wreckage threat

Mere Naleba
Thursday, April 17, 2014

THERE are 34 ships submerged or partly submerged in Fiji waters, a survey has revealed.

Of these, 18 are more than 15 years old.

The survey, conducted by the Marine Resource Assessment, Development and Management on ship groundings in the Pacific, states that 11 are fishing vessels, six tankers, one bulk carrier, 11 cargo vessels and five ships in the others category.

It further states that Fiji has 123 vessels between 10 and 1000 gross registered tonnage (GRT) and seven vessels greater than 1000 GRT.

The MV Na Mataisau, a government ship that suffered engine problems while anchored in open waters off Moala in Lau, is among ships listed in the others category.

The ship ran aground on January 18, 1985, and eventually sank hours later, killing two.

The 274-tonnage cargo ferry was only seven years old when the incident happened.

Villagers of Nuku on Moala Island are now seeking government's assistance in trying to remove the wreck from their beachfront.

Nuku Village headmen Jimi Malumu claims seafood in their area is now scarce because of drums of fuel that were on board the vessel.

The vessel was swept ashore by strong waves during Cyclone Eric the same year.

"We have been asking all government delegations that visit our village for assistance because we feel that this vessel is the reason why we can't get any more fresh fish and seafood. Up until now, nothing has been done," he said.

Tevita Tuikabara, of Vatoa Village in Lau, echoed Mr Malumu's sentiments, saying three foreign fishing vessels and a local vessel are submerged along Vuata Reef in Vatoa.

Mr Tuikabara said the US freighter SS Thomas A Edison struck the reef in 1942 and the fleet tug USS Grebe suffered the same fate when it tried to salvage it.

Norwegian vessel Ragna Ringdal sank there in 1962 while the Labasa Princess fell victim to it in 1973.

"We are requesting that something be done about these ships. The future of our children are at stake because who knows maybe in the next few years nothing will be left for them from the sea," he said.

Questions sent to the Department of Environment, the Ministry of Works, Transport and Public Utilities and WWF on April 1 regarding the issue remained unanswered yesterday.








Fiji Times Front Page Thumbnail

Kaila Front Page ThumbnailFiji Times & Kaila Frontpage PDF Downloads

Use the free Acrobat Reader to view.

Westpac
Code Inward TTs Outward TTs
CAD 0.61880.5998
JPY 52.941849.9418
GBP 0.32410.3161
EUR 0.42560.4136
NZD 0.71310.6801
AUD 0.66260.6376
USD 0.47860.4616

from

$0.00

Exchange Rate updated on 27th May 2016

Today's Most Read Stories

  1. Mother 'locks up' son to go clubbing
  2. Prophecy of Nasautoka Come and drink of this life-giving water
  3. Return our baby
  4. Pig hunt turns fatal
  5. Woman dies in road accident
  6. 65 return home, 90 stay back
  7. Divers swim with giants of the deep
  8. Police treat man's death as murder
  9. Japan adopts schools
  10. Minister to head interim TISI Sangam committee

Top Stories this Week

  1. Tears of joy for Jerry's family Thursday (26 May)
  2. Son crushed to death, parents seek answers Tuesday (24 May)
  3. Ryan gutted Tuesday (24 May)
  4. Hayne, Ryan miss out Wednesday (25 May)
  5. Hayne's Rio barrier Monday (23 May)
  6. Remains of missionary receives a proper burial 200 years later Friday (27 May)
  7. Families live in fear Friday (27 May)
  8. 7s fans disappointed Thursday (26 May)
  9. 13 for Rio Saturday (28 May)
  10. Fiji Airways gives free trip to 7s players Wednesday (25 May)