World Fishing & Aquaculture | Maldives adopt Fleet One for VMS

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Maldives adopt Fleet One for VMS


Fisheries account for 30% of employment in the Maldives



Inmarsat and Cobham SATCOM have been awarded a new contract to connect 732 fishing vessels active in the Maldives Economic Exclusion Zone to Inmarsat’s Fleet One maritime broadband services.

Cobham’s SAILOR Fleet One utilises the existing Inmarsat-4 satellite constellation to deliver the most reliable global voice calling and internet connectivity via a compact, lightweight antenna, and a simple installation process. The technology’s affordability makes it particularly accessible for smaller boats looking to access maritime satellite communications for the first time.

The five-year contract envisages the supply and maintenance of the VMS, to include Fleet One satellite communications over L-band from Inmarsat, airtime and secure communications server via Integrated Monitoring (IM) and SAILOR antennas from Cobham SATCOM installed by Ooredoo.

“The VMS project confirms the leadership role that the Maldives continues to play in sustainable fishing and in sustaining the blue economy long-term,” said Maldives Fisheries Minister Zaha Waheed.

”It puts the maritime broadband infrastructure in place to monitor and manage operations, but also to support the welfare of those working at sea. In doing so, we have chosen technology that is reliable, scalable, progressive, cost efficient and easy to use, and a group of partners with the track records to instil confidence. Successful implementation of the project would also mean that Maldives fulfil and go beyond the requirements established through the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC),” she said.

The go-ahead follows trials of Fleet One services and SAILOR Fleet One terminals from Cobham aboard 15 boats, confirming that performance exceeds specifications for a new vessel monitoring system (VMS) under the Maldives’ Sustainable Fisheries Resources Development Project to improve Monitoring, Control and Surveillance in fisheries sector. The VMS project, agreed between Maldives-based Ooredoo and the Ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture, is funded by the World Bank.

“We placed high importance in onboarding partners that share our values of bringing new socio-economic progress to societies through innovative technologies,” said Ooredoo Maldives CEO Najib Khan.

“The Fleet One Vessel Monitoring System ensures seamless monitoring of fishing vessels for owners and the regulator, and enables new opportunities for the crew, while assuring their safety onboard. We look forward to seeing the progression of the fisheries industry in the Maldives, supported by this project.”

Fisheries are a economic activity in the Maldives, providing jobs to over 30% of the population. Launched in 2017, the Sustainable Fisheries Resource Development Project was followed in 2019 by The Maldives Fisheries Act, which bans several forms of fishing gear, and envisages granting licenses only to vessels offering real time tracking and those that are registered in the Maldives. Fleet One will support electronic catch documentation and traceability (eCDT) to combat Illegal, Unregulated and Unreported (IUU) fishing. The Fisheries Act also formalises fishermen entitlements to pensions, training and connectivity to emergency services.

Integrated Monitoring is also providing Monitor – a cloud hosted platform for GPS Tracking, Catch Reporting and Electronic Video Monitoring – to the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries for use within their Fisheries Monitoring Center in Malé.

“The scope of this project will resonate wherever fisheries administrations seek progress on sustainability and crew welfare at scale and in an integrated way,” commented Integrated Monitoring’s CEO Jeff Douglas.

“Fleet One is over twenty times faster than traditional Vessel Monitoring Systems. For the first time, it will support crew chat, mobile banking and live video monitoring to the small and mid-sized fisheries segment.”



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