By VICKY BAUNKE
THE National Maritime Safety Authority (NMSA) in partnership with the Morobe government has launched a sea craft registry for the province.
The launching was witnessed by representatives from the Morobe government, the road traffic registry, NMSA, and boat owners at the Voco Point wharf in Lae last Friday.
Speaking during the launching of the registry, NMSA representative and small craft safety education officer, Ishmael Kawi emphasised on the role of the NMSA in representing the PNG government as a member of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) to implement the requirements of conventions by regulating the shipping industry in the country to promote safety.
“The Small Craft Act was introduced in 2010 as a bill in Parliament and eventually was passed in 2011, then got certified by the Speaker and clerk of Parliament in 2014 and latter gazetted in 2015,” Kawi said.
“The registration and licensing eventuated last year and the NMSA looks at implementing the act in the 15 maritime provinces.”
“Our support includes providing sets of IT equipment to all the 15 maritime provinces, providing training of provincial small craft inspectors and other staff including police officers, providing safety gear and equipment to provincial small craft boards, providing technical advice, conduct awareness, refurbish small craft offices and provide other support needed.”
Kawi said the NMSA will continue to regulate the small craft project to be a successful and to ensure people travelled safely.
The NMSA is tendering a K2.5m project to import and supply life jackets to all boats registered under provincial small craft registries.
The Morobe Small Craft Board chairman Giosi Labi told The National after the launching of the small craft registry that all boats and dinghies in Morobe must be registered by January 2016 and issued with registration numbers along with tracking devices and other safety equipment.
Labi said the registry was a good initiative that would promote safety of passengers and other security requirements for operators out at sea similar to the road transport regulations.
He urged operators to take good care of their crafts as valuable economic assets that would benefit them.
By VICKY BAUNKE