The Fijian authorities were concerned that a cargo ship from Tonga which ran aground near one of its islands last week still poses a threat to the archipelago’s ecosystem.

They said the ship is currently holding 20,000 litres of fuel after it was left stranded in Kadavu near Kabariki village.

“We are patrolling this area to make sure there are no oil spills or anything of that sort,” Fiji Times reported.

The MV Sitka was sold to a Solomon Islands company but it suffered a mechanical failure while its six Tongan crewmen including the captain were on their way to the islands to hand over the ship.

The Tongan men have returned to Tonga, it has been reported.

The 200 tonnes inter-island cargo vessel was initially brought to Tonga from Australia by a local company South Seas Shipping.

Following its arrival in Nuku’alofa in March 2010 and it transported cargo between Nuku’alofa, Ha’afeva, Pangai and Neiafu.

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