30 Jun 2009

Fiji's Local Ship Owners Association president says costs may end industry

10:38 am on 30 June 2009

Fiji's Local Ship Owners Association president, Durga Prasad, says increasing operational costs will be the end of the shipping industry.

The owner of Seaview Shipping said the much-appreciated subsidy through the franchise scheme was not enough to keep operators afloat.

Mr Prasad, who's currently operating only one of his three inter-island vessels, Sandy, said keeping vessels operational and well maintained was an expensive exercise as most spare parts and experts had to be imported.

He said only three companies serviced uneconomical routes to Kadavu, Lomaiviti and the Lau Group, and the companies were Salia Basaga, Western Shipping and Seaview Shipping.