By Jack Lapauve Jr – EM TV News, Port Moresby
Maritime provinces have been called on to take full responsibility ensuring the Small Craft Act 2011 is effectively implemented.
In a statement, National Maritime Safety Authority General Manager, Paul Unas, called on the 15 provincial administrations to take this ownership.
Unas made this statement following recent boat incidents in Manus, Wewak and Milne Bay provinces.
“Improving the safety for small boat operators and their passengers is crucial, after seeing the increase in number of deaths, is our focus,” said Unas.
Mr. Unas said the implementation of the SCA is the responsibility of the provincial administrations by law as it clearly states in the Act itself. It is also their responsibility under the ‘The Determination Assigning Service Delivery Functions and Responsibilities To Provincial and Local Level Governmen’s‘.
He challenged provinces that have yet to establish a Small Craft Registration Board to do so in order to promote the sea safety culture to their people while travelling out at sea.
Currently, NMSA is conducting Small Craft Training in coastal provinces in three modules; Small Craft Registry Operation, Small Craft Inspections and Enforcement of the Act.
Provincial officers will then be expected to drive and implement the policy with the assistance of provincial governmen’s.
But the main difficulty faced by NMSA is that some maritime provinces have not appointed officers nor provided resources to implement and embrace the Small Craft Act 2011.
So far, NMSA has conducted provincial SCA training in Milne Bay, Manus, Morobe and New Ireland with plans to conduct the Buka training in April.