A New Zealand shipping academic says within a few years the current form of shipping transport will be unaffordable for Pacific Island countries.
Peter Nuttal, who is completing a doctorate in sustainable shipping through Victoria University and the University of the South Pacific, says fuel prices are set to skyrocket from 2018.
He says in the interests of reducing sulphur dioxide emissions the International Maritime Organisation has agreed to increase the cost of diesel at that time by about 60 percent.
Mr Nuttal says the people driving the Pacific's shipping industry are failing to consider alternatives to the sorts of vessels being used.
"Sustainable shipping, shipping based on biofuels, on wind power, on solar power is an emergent technology. We have numerous designs over the past 20 years which are highly applicable. There are more designs coming on line by the day. The global shipping community that's associated with sustainable shipping wants to come and help the Pacific."
Peter Nuttal says sail-assisted ferries are to be trialled in Fiji.