Satlink gains approval for sale of tracking system to UK artisanal fishers

Published on
April 20, 2022
Madrid, Spain-based Satlink has had its vessel monitoring system authorized by the United Kingdom’s Marine Management Organisation.

Madrid, Spain-based Satlink has had its vessel monitoring system authorized by the United Kingdom’s Marine Management Organisation (MMO).

The company, which specializes in fisheries management systems and technological solutions based on satellite communications, earlier this year also received a certification to supply its onboard electronic monitoring system to the U.S. fishing fleet, which is facing increased pressure to adopt VMS technology.

By the end of 2022, the U.K. government will require fishing vessels less than 12 meters in length that operate in national waters to transmit their position, course, and navigation speed data at regular intervals to the MMO, according to Satlink. The Satlink system meets the MMO requirement that it transmit data via cellular signal rather than satellite, in order to make the technology more affordable for small-scale fishers. However, it must still be capable of storing a year’s worth of location data.

“With this measure, the U.K.government plans to improve the collection of fisheries data and adopt more informed management mechanisms, following the U.K. exit from the [E.U.’s] Common Fisheries Policy because of Brexit,” Satlink said in a press release.

Satlink is one of four suppliers that have achieved certification to sell such devices in the U.K. market. Globally, it has installed this type of tracking system in more than 4,000 vessels, it said. In October 2021, Satlink was selected by the government of Cyprus to digitally monitor and manage the transshipment work of its fishing vessels and ensure their compliance with both national and European legislation.

And in March 2022, Satlink joined forces with the International Pole and Line Foundation and the Olive Ridley Project to launch a collaborative fishing gear recovery and reuse project in the Maldives.

The aim of the initiative is to create a self-sustaining system for the collection and reuse of abandoned, lost, or discarded fishing gear with long-term continuity and applicability to other areas, through the involvement of local coastal communities, including fishers and citizen scientists, it said in a press release.

The project will focus on Noonu Atoll and will include training of fishermen, citizen scientists and other local stakeholders to study and collect drifting ghost gear, with the goal of growing the project throughout the Maldives and beyond its current two-year scope.

“These activities will serve to both raise environmental awareness and build capacity for dealing with ghost gear in the involved communities,” Satlink said.

In August 2020, Satlink launched a program designed to train on-board human fishery observers to perform fishery monitoring through video data and satellite imaging.

Photo courtesy of Satlink

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