NEWS

Muaivuso Headman Warns Ship Owners, Authority

The headman of Muaivuso Village in Lami, Samuela Toge, has sounded a stern warning to owners of a boat that ran aground on Navakavu Reef near the Bay of islands.
25 Sep 2018 11:16
Muaivuso Headman Warns Ship Owners, Authority
The He Shun that ran aground on the Navakavu Reef near the Bay of Islands in Lami. Crew members start to clear their belongings on September 24, 2018. Photo: Simione Haravanua

The headman of Muaivuso Village in Lami, Samuela Toge, has sounded a stern warning to owners of a boat that ran aground on Navakavu Reef near the Bay of islands.

“Please take the ship out or else we will burn it,” Mr Toge said.

He raised this concern with Government authorities and owners of the Chinese fishing vessel He Shun.

“We are affected by this ship because this is our fishing area,” Mr Toge said.

“About 50 other fishermen and fisherwomen from Muaivuso and nearby communties have been affected by the grounding of this vessel.

“So far this is the fifth boat that has damaged our iqoliqoli (traditional fishing ground).”

“There were two ships, which ran aground on the reef in 2018,” he said.

“Since we all are fishermen in the village, the catch we sell in the market will be affected. The oilspill  from the vessel is our major concern because it is affecting the coral reefs and fish quality.”

The HESHUN37 grounded at the Muaisivo reef on September 24,2018. Photo: Simione Haravanua.

The He Shun, grounded at the Muaisivo reef on September 24, 2018.  Photo: Simione Haravanua.

 

The grounding of the He Shun, in the Marine Protected Area, has caused concern within the village.
“This is a conservation area that students from the University of the South Pacific and Fiji National University come and visit to conduct research,” Mr Toge said.

“We have talked to owners of the vessel and we told them to take the boat out because it is going to damage the reef.”

Villagers from the four villages of Muaivuso, Nabaka, Waiqanake and Namakala fish daily in this area.

A team from the Fiji Sun visited the ship when the Chinese and local crew were unloading their goods.

The Chinese nationals indicated they could not speak in English.

A statement released by Maritime Authority of Fiji read: “To date, MSAF have not received a report on the grounding, however, we have requested the vessel owner Manz Shipping Company for a formal report.

“On receipt of the report, MSAF will issue a removal notice to the owner and Shipping Company.

“An investigation will be carried out to determine the cause of the grounding.”

Edited by Percy Kean

Feedback: sheenam.chandra@fijisun.com.fj

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