German company proposes using UAVs to combat IUU

Bbcom Secure, a German security company, has proposed a new method for combating illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing: Unmanned Aerial Systems, which are carried on vehicles commonly known as UAVs. 

The proposal by the company would use unmanned drones that can survey fishing activities from the air, allowing for real-time monitoring from the shore day and night. The advantage, the company said, is that with modern video and drone technology, UAVs can provide a low-operating cost deterrent around the clock. 

The unmanned aerial systems can compensate for what Bbcom Secure says are disadvantages with the current Automatic Identification Systems (AIS) used for combating IUU. 

“For example, there can be no evidence of actual IUU activity,” the company’s proposal states. “It always requires the additional control boat on site. In most ports, however, there are paid informants who warn IUU fishermen immediately when a control boat leaves the port.”

The UAVs, however, offer a way to monitor boats directly by video. The systems carried on board give it the ability to operate automatically and get actual footage of IUU in action. 

“Special Unmanned Aerial Systems (S-UAS) can compensate these disadvantages. They can be launched outside of a port, raise real video evidence of illegal fishing and are hardly recognizable to offenders,” the proposal states. 

The vehicles, according to Bbcom Secure, could identify vehicles using false flags, transshipping fish from vessels to locals, using destructive gear and illegal methods, fishing in restricted areas, and more. 

The vehicles could be automated to travel pre-planned routes in areas that are susceptible to IUU, and have a “low acquisition and operating cost,” according to Bbcom. The proposed technology is capable of four hours of air time, live transmission of video over 17 nautical miles, vertical take-off and landing, thermal imaging and more.  

“To achieve a breakthrough in combatting IUU, the current measures should be complemented by a new way of fishing activities surveillance to generate sound evidence against the criminals,” the company states. 

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock


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