BY BARNABAS MANEBONA
A long-liner fishing vessel with Asian crews on board had wrecked on top of a reef in front of Haghalu Village at Central Big Ngella after taking a wrong course.
Being understood to be travelling for Avi Avi Station, instead of following the normal ship route, the purpose of it travelling in between Gavutu also famously known as the ‘Dolphin Island’ and the mainland of Big Ngella is not made clear.
The fishing vessel however is now at Avi Avi after being pulled out of the reef by a tug boat later Monday evening but the damage it had caused on part of the reef is what the local community of Haghalu is still seeking compensation for.
“We daily depend on this long stretched-out reef too for our livelihoods so this fishing vessel should think seriously of compensating us. Though plan is still under process now to ask compensation but we are not sure of what the outcome will be seeing that the fishing vessel and its crew had been ignoring us when the vessel was still wrecked and seeing them going away without addressing our concern is like a slap on our faces viewing them as criminals running away,” said concerned members of Haghalu Community.
Island Sun had queried to the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) through their Media Unit over this issue in which they responded that the RSIPF was only responsible for the fishing vessel’s security purposes having directed the matter to Solomon Islands Maritime Safety Administration (SIMSA).
After failed phone call attempts through SIMSA’s Office, the Solfish Company Limited Office was then contacted if they knew of the ship over which they clarified that such long-liner fishing vessels only do unloading at them.
With queries yet ongoing to who really owns this fishing vessel, Island Sun is striving to get to the bottom of this issue.