Satlink leads the market for Electronic Monitoring (EM) in the Western Pacific region, with installations on more than two hundred vessels from nine countries

  • Some Regional Fisheries Organisations, such as the Western and Central Pacific Commission (WCPFC), have suspended the placement of Human Observers on purse-seine vessels due to COVID-19 health concerns, effecting monitoring activities in some of the world’s most productive fishing grounds.

Madrid, 3 August 2020.-

Satlink, a Spanish company specialized in developing electronic monitoring technology for sustainable fishing, has launched an ambitious training program for on-board human observers who are responsible for compliance monitoring on vessels operating in various EEZs. With this program, Satlink offers Regional Fisheries Organisations (RFOs), local governments and fleets the possibility to perform fishery monitoring through video data and images captured by electronic on-board observation systems, such as the Satlink SeaTube system.

With this program, Satlink offers career enhancing EM training to these professionals to continue with fishery observation and monitoring to assure regulatory compliance. Some RFOs, including the WCPFC, have been forced to suspend the placement of human observers on purse-seine vessels because of potential health problems caused by COVID-19. This decision affects about 800 of these on-board human observer professionals.

The Satlink EM training program would not only maintain the jobs of the observers in many parts of the Pacific, but allow for more vessels to be monitored electronically, thus increasing the number of these professionals needed for video review. Based on more than 5,000 longline and purse-seine vessels operating there, it is estimated that at least 25% more human observers will be needed. Importantly, this training would expand the use of EM and improve existing fishery monitoring and compliance activities that safeguard sustainable fishing practices which are at risk because of the absence of observers on-board.

Satlink’s in depth knowledge of fisheries has allowed the company to develop EM systems that are capable of continuously recording the activity on fishing vessels to check good fishing practices and responsible treatment of crew. Since 2014, the company also bases its expertise through the training of more than 150 people on how to perform data analysis activities around the world. With Satlink’s EM technology, human observers can generate from video review accurate reports on the composition of catches, size, bycatch and confirm fishing zones.

Satlink is one of the world leaders in developing EM monitoring solutions, with more than 220 installations on vessels operating in the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans. Satlink has been working in close collaboration with governments, NGOs and fishing companies to make the transition to EM fast and efficient. Among its most recent projects are those initiated by the governments of the Solomon Islands and Micronesia, countries with economies that are highly dependent on fishing. In the Pacific Ocean Region, Satlink leads in the installation of EM training centers, with more than 20 video analysis systems now in place. These centers are responsible for monitoring approximately 110 fishing vessels from nine countries.

Según Faustino Velasco, presidente de Satlink, ““estos sistemas de observación electrónica no sólo constituyen la principal fuente de datos precisos, fiables y verificados para el desarrollo de prácticas de pesca más selectivas y el establecimiento de medidas que aseguren la sostenibilidad de los stocks, sino también de fijación y generación de empleo en tierra y de mejora de las condiciones laborales de los
observadores en cuanto a seguridad a bordo de los buques, conciliación y desarrollo profesional

Technology supported by FAO

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has stressed the need to improve and expand the use of electronic monitoring systems for fisheries to ensure ethical and sustainable practices. This is set out in the report SOFIA 2020 on the State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture. It points out that the adoption of new technologies allows for greater availability and quality of data that will be more
accurate when adopting fisheries management measures. Thus, EM ensures the economic, social and environmental sustainability of the sector.

FAO stresses the importance of EM technologies, such as the Automatic Identification  System (AIS), to improve the rate of sustainable resource exploitation which in 2018 already stood at 78% of fish landed worldwide. The report also points out that the inequality in fisheries management, in reference to those fisheries that do not have good monitoring systems, has caused the percentage of overexploited stocks to
increase to 34.22% in 2017.

Satlink agrees with the FAO that fleets with deficient data collection systems must progressively adapt their fishing programs to international standards, such as those in Europe which are subject to strict surveillance regulations.

About Satlink
Founded in 1992, Satlink is an international engineering company. Since its creation, the company has been leading research, innovation and development of technological solutions based on satellite communications for use on land, air and sea environments. Satlink has a special focus on providing solutions that contribute to sustainable and responsible fisheries management.