The Icelandic tech company Trackwell recently won an open tender to provide Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) services for Commonwealth commercial fisheries, issued by the Commonwealth of Australia, operating as the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA). AFMA has been using VMS technology to monitor fishing boats since 1993 and the new Trackwell solution will assist in managing the activity of thousands of commercial fishing vessels to support both Commonwealth and selective state and territory fisheries agencies within the third largest Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) in the world. The Trackwell VMS will support AFMA and partner agencies to ensure continuous compliance with fisheries management regulations.
AFMA is responsible for the efficient management of Commonwealth fishery resources on behalf of the Australian government, which monitors all fishing vessels authorized to operate in Commonwealth waters that surround the Australian continent. Australia’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) encompasses 8.2 million square kilometers including remote offshore territories and 2 million square kilometers of the Australian Antarctic Territory, thereby making it the third-largest EEZ in the world, behind France and the United States. Through open tender procedures for the provision of a Vessel Monitoring System and on behalf of the Commonwealth of Australia, AFMA awarded Trackwell the contract for the transition and continued management of Australian-flagged commercial fishing vessels utilizing Trackwell’s highly advanced VMS platform.
“This was the next logical step for Trackwell as we aim to become a leading provider of vessel monitoring systems worldwide. The contract expands our operations to the Indian and Southern Oceans, further extending and strengthening our presence in the Pacific.” – Jón Ingi Björnsson, CEO of Trackwell.
Australia Exclusive Economic Zone
For the past 20 years, Trackwell has provided Vessel Monitoring Solutions across the globe to leading countries and organizations in the field of vessel monitoring. This is, however, the first time Trackwell has moved its operations to the Indian and the Southern Oceans, having mainly operated in the North Atlantic and Pacific Oceans to-date.
Trackwell VMS will provide AFMA with enhanced monitoring and alerting options for thousands of commercial fishing vessels required to carry an operational VMS unit. It will allow AFMA and its partner agencies (both state and federal) to continue to monitor vessel movements and use the positional data received from the system to analyze the vessels’ behavior, for both law enforcement and resource management purposes.
“This contract is a big stepping stone for Trackwell, as it provides the opportunity to work closely with AFMA monitoring the third largest Exclusive Economic Zone in the world. We are looking forward to this collaboration as we further develop our system to handle the diverse environments of the waters surrounding Australia.” – Kolbeinn Gunnarsson, Director of Trackwell Maritime
The VMS will continue to track the location of Australian-licenced fishing vessels wherever they operate. Messages will be exchanged with other state and regional fishery offices in accordance with regulations and bi-lateral agreements. Some examples of automatic monitoring tools that the VMS platform will provide AFMA include the timely reception of position reports and the detection of fishery regulation breaches.
“We selected Trackwell in this tender due to their offer of a comprehensive and price-competitive system. Our operations call for continuous development, and the Trackwell system provides the flexibility that meets our diverse requirements.” – Jeremy Thuell, VMS manager at AFMA
The system will maintain compatibility with current MTU (Mobile Transceiver Unit) hardware installed on each vessel monitored by AFMA while accommodating new MTU solutions endorsed for use by each state and territory fisheries agency. The system will also support future integration and compatibility with the FLUX (Fisheries Language for Universal Exchange) system to assist and support the distribution of fisheries-related data to e.g. regional fisheries management organizations (RFMO).
Trackwell has been developing Vessel Monitoring Systems for more than 20 years, providing countries and organizations with state-of-the-art tools to manage their resources and track their vessels globally. In almost all cases, Trackwell provides the entire VMS software, technical maintenance, and user-level support. The Trackwell Vessel Monitoring System currently manages the data of over fifteen thousand vessels.
For further information on the services and solutions provided by Trackwell, please visit https://vmsfisheries.com.
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