Tuesday, September 28, 2010

VComms secures contract with Papua New Guinea's National Fisheries Authority

Major Milestone Reached For Provision of integrated VMS and Inmarsat services
27th September 2010 – VComms, a subsidiary of SatComms, a leading provider of integrated satellite communication solutions based in Australia, has been selected by the National Fisheries Authority (NFA) of Papua New Guinea to provide a specialist turn-key integrated Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) for fisheries management under a multi-year agreement.
 The VMS includes the provision of Inmarsat airtime via the Inmarsat C platform. Phase one implementation will include approximately 500 fisheries vessels, with considerable expansion and system evolution planned for 2011.
 This announcement could not be more timely as priority monitoring, control and surveillance are all key issues for this year's technical and compliance committee being held by the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission in Pohnpei, the Federated States of Micronesia on 30th September to 5th October.
 Sylvester Pokajam, managing director of the National Fisheries Authority said: "This is a major landmark for both the NFA and Papua New Guinea.  We have invested in world-class technical and operational infrastructure to take fisheries management to new heights in the Pacific, with a company that has a proven commitment to the local and regional fisheries sector. We also feel that the benefits of the system could be utilised by other Pacific countries who may be watching our implementation"
 The implementation marks a number of 'firsts' for PNG and the Pacific VMS community, particularly integration of vessel monitoring data with the NFA's own vessel licensing database. The NFA will now be able to monitor and control commercial fishing operations from one platform which will improve stock sustainability within PNG waters and beyond. As the heart of the control infrastructure is based in PNG, this fully-scalable system is ideally placed to assist other Pacific-based fisheries to implement an enhanced VMS system.
 Andrew Burdall, managing director of VComms & SatComms said: "The NFA has always been a VMS authority at the cutting edge of new technologies. Our solution, which includes software, software maintenance and an airtime package, will improve the detection of illegal fishing by speeding up the validation of vessel position data against licensing records.   For the first time, this VMS authority can see both the location and behaviour of the vessel. It can   establish immediately if the vessel has a licence and the details of that licence status in real time via Inmarsat, so the vessel is tracked with the specific fishery. The cost savings of a service that is designed to stop illegal fishing prospering in PNG waters are considerable."
Continues Burdall: "The VComms operation is our commitment to PNG and the Pacific community to deliver world-class solutions in co-operation with forward thinking authorities, such as NFA, and we are proud to be chosen as their ongoing supplier for VMS services."
 David Klaris, VMS manager for the National Fisheries Authority, said: "Operationally this is a much more-advanced platform than the one it replaces, as it now allows us to both monitor vessels within the fishery and automatically cross-reference this with their licensing status, therefore increasing efficiency substantially. We have also had the system designed with new levels of operational and data redundancy already built in."
 The VMS system is fully-scalable and operationally-redundant in terms of both communication and security functionality. It is designed to meet the highest demands of government-level regulatory control, with sophisticated automatic archiving technology to ensure data security and integrity at all times.
 Perry Melton, chief operating officer of Inmarsat, said: "Inmarsat C is utilised by the majority of the world's fishing organisations for the purpose of fishing management and protection. We are delighted to see how our partner, VComms, a subsidiary of SatComms Australia, is continuing to innovate with this technology to ensure the safety and security of fisheries in the Pacific.  VMS ensures that illegal fishing cannot prosper in PNG water."
 Piers Cunningham, commercial director of SatComms & VComms said:  "We are extremely pleased that our investment in establishing a solid operational and technical presence in Papua New Guinea has been recognised, and that we have been given an opportunity to deliver a cutting-edge integrated solution for NFA. The resilience of the Inmarsat network, combined with state-of-the–art technical infrastructure allows VComms to provide the NFA with a fisheries management system that is world-class."                   

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