Joint group launched VMS for fishing vessels in US

Joint group launched VMS for fishing vessels in US
Photo: Addvalue

Inmarsat, the world leader in global, mobile satellite communications, along with its partners Addvalue Innovation Pte Ltd (Addvalue) and Network Innovations, have launched the first type-approved IP-based terminal and Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) for fishing vessels operating in United States (U.S.) waters, marking a significant milestone for sustainable fishing in the U.S.

The new broadband communications and VMS package was launched at a Network Innovations event at the Pacific Maritime Expo in Seattle from November 21-23. The Addvalue iFleetONE communications terminal and proprietary VMS have been typeapproved in four of the five U.S. Fisheries Management regions, as required by the U.S. National Maritime Fisheries Service (NMFS) Office of Law Enforcement (OLE).

Type approval in the fifth region is expected imminently. Inmarsat’s Eric Griffin, VP for Offshore & Fishing, said: 

“We are excited to work with Network Innovations and Addvalue to be the first into the vast U.S. fisheries sector with iFleetONE. This high-speed broadband terminal and VMS combination will transform regulatory compliance, fisheries governance in U.S. waters to sustain fish numbers and protect vital ocean habitats. Meanwhile, commercial fishermen will now have access to voice and data services, enhancing crew welfare and providing reliable communications between fishing crews and their families and friends ashore.”

An estimated 4,000 legally licensed commercial fishing vessels are permitted to fish in U.S. Fisheries Management regions. They are required to report their GPS positions via a typeapproved secure satellite link. iFleetONE VMS is the first and only mobile satellite terminal to provide secure VMS services for NMFS with full-featured voice and IP-based communications capabilities.

The iFleetONE VMS will, for the first time, enable every stakeholder in the VMS ecosystem, including NMFS Law Enforcement, fisheries management officials and other end users to have a suitable platform to develop many new and innovative applications that have been limited previously by the lack of availability and affordability of legacy technologies.

Dr Colin Chan, Chairman and CEO of Addvalue, commented:

“Leveraging the resilient and competitive Inmarsat Fleet One services and Network Innovations’ established and pervasive market reach for coastal fishing vessels in the U.S., we are confident to see good penetration into the fishery market. This will not only generate significant terminals sales but also grow recurring revenue with the bundled VMS subscription service for us and our partners.”

The iFleetONE proposition is the first communications and VMS combination to enter the substantial U.S. fisheries market with a terminal and broadband system incorporating IP connectivity based on the guaranteed performance available via Inmarsat L-band services. Satellite communications systems specialist Network Innovations will provide a range of airtime plans and packages to support the service, both for data and voice communications.

Speaking for Network Innovations, Matt George, Global Maritime Vice President added:

“The U.S. fisheries sector is a substantial new market for innovative satellite communications and we are looking forward to offering a range of airtime packages specifically tailored to fulfil the requirements set forth by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for the different regions. We offer a series of plans that range from VMS reporting only plans, to plans that include additional data packages to allow fishers to take full advantage of the connectivity provided by iFleetONE. Our specialty is helping customers choose the right solution and airtime package for them.”