Ships berthing at Point Cruz. Photo credit: SPC.

Ships berthing at Point Cruz. Photo credit: SPC.

The Solomon Islands Government is encouraged to comply with the International Maritime Organisation Conventions by investing in its shipping industry.

Head of the Solomon Islands Maritime Safety Administration (SIMSA) Safe Boats Operation, Derek Saru told SIBC News in an interview.

He says Solomon Islands is party to these conventions and it has to meet them especially in training the human resource in its shipping sector.

“In terms of the International Maritime Conventions to which we are party to, we have to comply with it. We have to recommend especially to the Government that it has to make funds available to train this human resource. You have to ensure that the schools they attend will have to be well equipped because the same equipment used in schools will be used onboard a vessel and the training they attended at school will be applied in a real life situation onboard a vessel, so you have to train them ashore to be qualified and then being placed onboard a ship.”

Meanwhile, Mr Saru said SIMSA will make recommendations to the Government but vessel owners and operators are encouraged to invest in educating their crew members for better shipping.

“So at the moment a lot of people cannot be trained because there’s no money, the ship owner cannot meet the cost, even the fuel of the vessel cannot be met by the owner. How can they afford to pay the school fees, so it comes back to us that if you have funds then invest in that and this is what we are lacking at the moment? A lot of people onboard vessels are trained while others are left onshore with tickets and others boarding vessels without tickets, taking up space. These are issues that SIMSA is looking at and will make recommendations to the Government to address them.”

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