MSAF reports surge in inter-island travel

July 5, 2024 12:34 pm

The Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji revealed that in the past six months, there has been a notable rise in inter-island movement.

Chief Executive Joeli Cawaki highlighted that ship operators are experiencing difficulties in keeping up with this increased demand.

Cawaki noted that Kadavu, in particular, has seen a major increase in movement.

Article continues after advertisement

“For Kadavu, from January to June, almost about 20,000 people travelled between Kadavu and Suva.”

He added that other major ports have experienced a doubling or even tripling in movements compared to previous years, with some ports now permitted to operate during off-peak hours.

“At other ports like Natovi and Nabouwalu, the bridge between Viti Levu and Vanua Levu, we have seen an increase in movement. Even though Natovi and Nabouwalu are now operating 24 hours, there is still an increase in the number of people moving.”

Cawaki says that operators are grappling with challenges related to wear and tear and emphasized that MSAF is diligently overseeing sea trials to ensure the seaworthiness of these vessels.

He emphasized that MSAF has communicated to operators the paramount importance of safety.

He says MSAF will not only conduct onboard surveys but also regularly perform sea trials in response to the increased movements.