Domestic ship services play an important role in the transport system in Pacific Island Countries. To address safety concerns for domestic ferries, a three-day event held in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea from 23-25 April, adopted a community-based approach, involving end users of domestic ship services, to improve awareness as well as to improve safety measures.
The third domestic ship Safety Forum also reviewed the progress made in implementing the 2012 Suva Action Plan, which aims to bring safer ferry operations to pacific island countries.
IMO's Bekir Sitki Ustaoglu, Head Asia-Pacific of IMO Technical Co-operation Division, stated:
The dependence of Pacific Islanders on inter-island shipping is of paramount importance and every effort must be made by government and industry alike to ensure that only safe ships sail.
The Forum established that all stakeholders in the Pacific are working to ensure that all vessels operate in a safe condition, and that they are not risking the lives of those on board or the marine environment.