24 Oct 2011

Vanuatu dive operator doesn't believe derelict ships pose risk

6:52 pm on 24 October 2011

A fishing and diving business in Port Vila says strict legislation governs how ships are sunk in Vanuatu, and shipwrecks should pose a low risk to the environment.

The vice chairman of the Technical Advisory Committee to the maritime affairs department, Yaris Naunun, says four partially sunk ships are threatening the marine environment and is worried that the nation has become a dumping ground for such vessels.

Nautilus Watersports takes tourists diving at a number of wreck sites where the ships have been stripped of any hazardous materials.

Owner operator, Peter Phillips, says he is aware of the sinking vessels, but has confidence Vanuatu's marine authorities can handle the situation.

"Not a hazard, no. And as long as any that pull up here and start to deteriorate are attended to by the government and the various bodies here, we don't have a problem."

Peter Phillips