Usamate: Safety of passengers at sea paramount

Minister for Transport Jone Usamate Picture: FILE

SHIPPING has been quite a challenge in Fiji with unreliable and inconsistent services, says Transport Minister Jone Usamate.

Speaking at the Sea Route Licensing (SRL) Consultation program in Suva yesterday, Mr Usamate said the Government had been emphasising that the safety of passengers at sea was paramount.

“The implementation of SRL is aimed at regulating and administering locally-registered shipping operations within the territorial waters of the Fiji Islands to facilitate a regular and reliable shipping service,” he said.

“The shipping industry is dependent on stakeholders and the public for its effective service delivery.”

According to Mr Usamate, SRL is a licence issued to allow Fiji ships to engage in trade with selected economical sea routes of Fiji.

It is expected to be implemented by January 2020.

“We as regulators, administrators, service providers and users of our services have due care and diligence which calls for close integration and collaboration.”

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