The Maldives is to implement a new monitoring system to control fishing vessel operations in its waters, a project which will see 732 fishing vessels active in the Maldives Economic Exclusion Zone installed with Cobham SATCOM terminals and connected to Inmarsat’s Fleet One maritime broadband service.
The go-ahead for the project follows trials of Fleet One services and terminals aboard 15 boats, to confirm that performance will match the required specifications for the new vessel monitoring system (VMS) being constructed under the Maldives’ Sustainable Fisheries Resources Development Project to improve monitoring, control and surveillance in the fisheries sector.
The VMS project, agreed between Maldives-based Ooredoo and the Ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture, is funded by the World Bank.
The five-year contract covers the supply and maintenance of the VMS, to include Fleet One satellite communications over L-band from Inmarsat, airtime, and a communications server provided by Integrated Monitoring (IM). SAILOR antennas from Cobham SATCOM will also be supplied, installed by Ooredoo.
The Maldives Fisheries Act states that licenses can only be granted to vessels offering real time tracking and that are registered only in the Maldives.
“The VMS project confirms the leadership role that the Maldives continues to play in sustainable fishing and in sustaining the blue economy long-term,” said Maldives Fisheries Minister Zaha Waheed.
“It puts the maritime broadband infrastructure in place to monitor and manage operations, but also to support the welfare of those working at sea. In doing so, we have chosen technology that is reliable, scalable, progressive, cost efficient and easy to use, and a group of partners with the track records to instil confidence.”