Vanuatu daily news digest | 11 October 2014

An item so far missed during the week is the Supreme Court dismissal of the claim of the Fishermen’s Cooperative for emoluments coming to a total of VT 1,510,479,456. The case followed the Commission of Inquiry of the Carcasses Government which produced what has come to be called the Tabisal Report. In his judgement, Justice Fatiaki points out that the amount of the claim is so substantial that to accept it on the basis of the Tabisal Report, without making any further assessments and ascertainment, as the Carcasses Government seemed ready to do, would be irresponsible on the part of the executive arm of government and would be contrary to public policies or the public interest of Vanuatu. "Only a court of law can determine these issues based on relevant admissible evidence," Fatiaki said. Quite so. The fishermen have been sadly misled over the many years by politicians and representatives of their unions or corporate bodies, and are still a long way from seeing a finality in this matter.

And another story missed concerns the development of a coastal fisheries policy which has long been necessary. There is a policy for tuna management, but nothing to cover the management of the shallow water resources which give income to the majority of the country’s fishermen. The initiative of Minister Tosul has been greatly assisted by the Secretariat of the Pcific Community (SPC) and the Fisheries Department.

In this weekend’s Independent Robert Bohm, as CEO of Vanuatu Maritime Services Limited (VMSL) holds the government to be "at fault" for not training enough locals to act as crew on international vessels. He also says the government has failed in not having bilateral agreements with the USA or Japan where most of the Vanuatu flagged vessels operate from. [VMSL is headquartered in New York and has a web page devoted to its Japanese opertations (sic)]. This is in answer to Prime Minister Natuman’s complaint that the Vanuatu international shipping registry seems not to provide a beneficial return to the state of which VMSL offers the flag as a convenience.

Vanuatu Trade Development Pte Limited (VTDL), which signed the now discounted agreement to build a new airport for the outdated Boeing 747 planes, is still selling its airport expertise. GM John Shing lists their "world renowned experts in the aviation sector" in a leading item in the weekend Daily Post.

The Independent says quad bikes and motor bikes will be disallowed in the CBD of Port Vila from November 30.