The government of the Solomon Islands has commissioned Spanish technology company Satlink to provide technical support for electronic monitoring systems and to update their fisheries management center, for which the company will train the local administration team.
This follows an earlier contract awarded in 2020 for Satlink’s SeaTube electronic monitoring (EM) system to be installed on the country’s longline fishing vessels to monitor and efficiently manage fishing activities.
The new contract expands the scope of the project initiated in 2020, which aims to provide electronic and/or human observation to all longline and purse seine tuna vessels flagged in the archipelago, with financial support from the World Bank through its Pacific Islands Regional Oceanscape Program for the economic resilience of Solomon Islands.
In addition to certifying compliance with regulation, the analysis of the data obtained on board the vessels allows for generating reports on catch composition, bycatch destination or fishing grounds, among other key parameters to ensure the long-term sustainability of the fishing industry.
Signing this new contract with the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources (MFMR) of Solomon Islands is part of the government’s strategy to preserve the profitability and sustainability of their fishing activity and resources, which is their second source of income after forestry. The Solomon Islands’ tuna industry accounts for 18% of the country’s GDP.
The Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources (MFMR) states that the basis for this project is that Satlink’s electronic monitoring system ‘has the potential to detect underreporting of target species in the longline fisheries and to identify inappropriate handling practices of endangered, threatened, and protected species’.
According to the Solomon Islands fisheries authorities, improving data on their fishing activity can help the archipelago better understand their vessels’ profitability and potential to generate added value.