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Low prices for safety gear

Salaseini Moceiwai
Friday, April 18, 2014

TRAVELLING all the way to Suva to buy flares and life jackets will soon be a thing of the past for Vanua Levu fishermen as the Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji (MSAF) plans to sell the items in Labasa from next month.

The items are among the necessary safety gear required for boats to be registered.

The authority's Labasa compliance and enforcement officer, Joji Vulakoro, said they planned to start selling the items next month.

"Many fishermen and private boat owners fail to register their boats because of the unavailability of flares and life jackets and some operate without them at all," he said.

"We are aware of how people order or travel all the way to Suva to buy the items.

"A few shops here in Labasa have the items but they are expensive.

"We are going to start selling and the prices we are looking at are not more than $100.

"The life jackets and flares are estimated at a cost of between $30 and $80."

Some mariners in Macuata earlier complained their boats had not been registered because they were unable to purchase the necessary gear in Vanua Levu.

Mr Vulakoro said seafarers needed not to worry now that the authority was stepping in to sell the items at their doorsteps.

"We have also used the radio to highlight that we will be selling the items here in Labasa."

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