BOAT expenses continue to rise for those living in the smaller remote islands, leaving them most vulnerable to paying more for boat fares when travelling from the island to the Capital City.
Supplies of goods and other cargo are affected because of lack of boat services to their various islands on a daily basis which is also a major hindrance in development.
This was highlighted by USP's Amelia Bola during the International Conference for Renewable Energy and Climate Change at USP.
"Shipping is the lifeline linking the island countries with the outside world, with each other and within their own countries; it is a vital need of achieving sustainable development and regional co-operation," Ms Bola said.
"From the research conducted it highlights the importance of small boats such as fibres, as an essential part of the maritime transport network owned and operated at the village level.
"It is important for community-based initiatives to look at how fuel is used when determining the priority for renewable energy to ensure focus is given to the area of greatest need.
"Data collections and analysis of sea transport is a priority if we are to truly tackle the Pacific's dependency on fossil fuel."
She said sea transport in Oceania was far more than just movement of goods and people from one location to another as it was central to our culture.