The first president of Kiribati says an independent commission of inquiry into the Butiraoi ferry disaster is needed.
This comes after the suspension last night by the Kiribati government of all international aerial support for the search for the missing vessel, which is now in its sixth day.
Only seven people have been found out of the 88 reportedly aboard the catamaran which left Nonouti island for the capital Tarawa two weeks ago.
Authorities said they were not alerted to the missing vessel until six days after its scheduled arrival.
The former president and Nounouti MP, Sir Ieremaia Tabai, said he has been pushing, along with other opposition MPs, for government to agree to an independent inquiry into the disaster.
"To start asking the hard questions. Why did it happen? Why the government did not know the thing in time and it was late to try and do the search and rescue? So we can know for sure what actually happened," he said.
"And at the end of the day we hope that, so we can prevent a similar situation happening in the future."
The editor of Kiribati's local broal broadcaster says the suspension of the aerial search for any more survivors of the of a ferry that sank will be heartbreaking for the families involved.
Aircraft from New Zeaand, Australia and the United States will return home after the Kiribati Government made the decision to call off the search.
Four Kiribati vessels will continue a marine search in the meantime.
Rikamati Naare from Radio Kiribati said he's not sure how the families involved have reacted to the news and people want answers from the government.