29 Jul 2011

Fiji's new inter-island vessel to be delivered by China next month

1:16 pm on 29 July 2011

A team from Fiji's Fisheries Department is in China trialling a new cargo ship constructed to link the outer islands and Suva.

The 37 metre long ship can carry 50 tonnes of cargo and the interim Fiji government says the purpose built vessel has been assembled with a 2.3 million US dollar grant from the Chinese government.

The deputy secretary of Fiji's development division, Eliki Bomani, says the ship will resolve a common complaint of limited access to markets from the outer islands for fish and other commodities, such as seaweed.

He also says it will it will be used for deep sea exploration exercises and research work in Fiji's exclusive economic zone.

Chinese instructors will sail the vessel to Fiji next month and carry out further training with the local fisheries team before handing over command.