THE Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji (MSAF) has so far registered about 100 fishing and private boats on Vanua Levu.
The authority's Labasa compliance and enforcement officer, Joji Vulakoro, yesterday said boat owners were trickling in to register during the grace registration period.
"The period ends on September 5 and those owners coming in now to register are paying their registration at a low cost," Mr Vulakoro said.
"The owners are required to have a boat master licence, necessary safety gear such as life jackets, flares, flotation devices, and fire extinguishers and also register their boats in order to operate legally in our waters.
"Those who will come in after the grace period will be paying a higher fee and if they are caught operating illegally, they are likely to be penalised.
"Our team in Suva are drafting the penalties for those boat owners caught operating illegally after the grace period."
Mr Vulakoro said the grace period was introduced last year to allow owners to register with MSAF.