7 Nov 2011

Martime incidents in Pacific costly

6:48 am on 7 November 2011

A regional environmental group says Pacific Island governments are having to deal with more vessel incidents and the costs of their clean up.

Vanuatu authorities are trying to track down the Australian owner of a sunken vessel now leaching asbestos at Santo's main wharf.

The Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme's Anthony Talouli says someone has to pay for salvage costs and administrators need to be aware of who is liable as the number of incidents is likely to rise.

"The latest transport report is that there is likely to be an increase in the number of tourist cruise liners that are coming to the Pacific so obviously with an increase in the number of vessels and the number of times they come to the region that will certainly increase the risk factor associated with cruise liners."

Anthony Talouli says the Secretariat is planning on holding a workshop for administrators in Melanesian countries, to educate them about compensation and liability conventions.