Satlink deploys its Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) in the Balearic small-scale fishing fleet to improve its management

77 systems have already been deployed and there are plans to extend their installation to the 250 vessels in the rest of the Balearic artisanal fleet over the next two years.

23 February 2022

Satlink, a Spanish technology company specialising in satellite telecommunications and solutions for fishery management and optimisation, has been awarded the Balearic Government’s tender to implement a monitoring system (VMS) on 250 vessels in its small-scale fishing fleet. In awarding this commission to Satlink, the Balearic Government aims to provide these vessels with the most advanced fisheries management systems currently available to ensure transparent, sustainable and responsible catch traceability.

Specifically, Satlink has already deployed this system, also known as the Green Box, on 77 boats in Ibiza, Mallorca and Formentera, and plans to extend it to the rest of the Balearic artisanal fleet over the next two years. The device records data concerning the vessel’s identification, position, course and navigation speed, and transmits them at regular adjustable intervals –starting from one minute– to the management platform administered by the Balearic Government’s fisheries authorities. In addition, its compact dimensions make it easy to install on small and medium-sized boats, and a solar panel mounted on the deck provides an alternative power source.

It should be recalled that the Balearic Government approved the decree regulating the System for Locating and Monitoring Fishing Vessels in the Balearic Islands (SLSEPIB) in February 2019. This made the Balearic Islands the second autonomous community, after Andalusia, to complement the Spanish Government’s blue box, monitored by the Ministry for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food General Secretariat for Fisheries and compulsory for vessels of 12 metres in length and over, with its own autonomous management system applied to the entire fleet, known as the Green Box.

To this effect, and as a previous step to the tender award to Satlink in 2019, the Balearic Government launched a pilot project involving the installation of the Green Box on ten boats in Colonia de Sant Jordi, in the municipality of Las Salinas, in the south of the Mallorca island. The Balearic Government points out that the results of the pilot project were considered very satisfactory. They helped define the requirements and needs to be covered in the project aiming to extend the new system to the rest of the Balearic fleet, which is currently underway.

According to the Regional Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Mae de la Concha, “These devices will be very useful because they will allow fishermen to distribute fishing days according to their needs and considering their seasonality.”

In the opinion of Pedro Vigil, Sales Manager at Satlink, “New technologies have become an essential tool for overseeing and guaranteeing compliance with sustainable resource management regulations, as well as for fishery management in protected areas and fishing pressure monitoring. In addition,” Vigil continues, “it is useful for the fleet to assess the profitability of fisheries and improve their operational management.”