Spanish technology company Satlink is the only foreign entity that has been certified and authorised by the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) to supply Vessel Monitoring Systems (VMS) to the UK small-scale fishing fleet.
As Satlink continues to consolidate its position on the market as a leading supplier of fisheries management systems, this latest UK certification is an addition to the one granted by the United States earlier this year to supply onboard electronic monitoring systems to the US fleet.
The UK Government’s authorisation is a response to the entry into force, at the end of this year, of the regulation that will make mandate systems providing the MMO with position, course and speed data from vessels under 12 metres in length.
Satlink is one of four suppliers certified for the UK market.
According to a Satlink representative, its system is based on the company’s experience in the installation of this type of equipment in more than 4000 vessels worldwide. The company’s device satisfies a series of requirements in terms of dimensions, power options and costs, among other factors specified by the MMO, with the object of adapting to the variety of dimensions and budgets of the UK artisanal fleet.
One of the requirements of the device is the capability of transmitting data via mobile phone signal (2G/3G/4G) instead of via satellite. This reduces the costs to fishermen. The UK authorities were also interested in the possibility offered by Satlink’s system of storing the vessel’s position historic (a position/minute) for up to a year. This functionality makes it possible to store a continuous location record in areas without mobile coverage and subsequently transmit the stored information to the MMO, once the vessel has a quality signal.
In addition, the Satlink device has an integrated rechargeable battery that provides a 50-hour autonomy and the option of power supply through a solar panel installed on the deck of the vessel. This allows its operation with minimal impact on other electrical systems.
With this measure, the UK Government plans to improve the collection of fisheries data and adopt more informed management mechanisms, following the UK departure from the European Union and the Common Fisheries Policy.