Sea fares on every ship have increased because of the current increase in the price of fuel.

Director of Marine Elliott Cortez, in a recent interview, said that the increase started last month. As of last month fares have increased by at least 40%. An adult travelling to a Temotu will now have to pay an additional SBD$400 one way.

Cortez said that the increase also affects freight charges, a huge blow the rural populace. "The Marine Division has no right to prevent private vessels increasing their sea fares and freight charges on goods," said Mr Cortez.

"It would not be feasible for the Government to try and control fares and freight charges on private vessels unless they are willing to subsidize financial losses."

Cortez said that the increases are regrettable but unavoidable given the current fuel price increases. He said that people have complained about the increase to the Marine Division but they cannot do any thing about the issue.

He said that shipping operations are not immune to the spiralling fuel price as it affects their overall operation and, given the stringent safety measures expected of the shipping industry, overall costs in general have gone up.