Inmarsat, along with its partners Addvalue and Network Innovations, have launched the first type-approved IP-based terminal and Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) for fishing vessels operating in the US.
The Addvalue iFleetONE communications terminal and proprietary VMS have been type-approved 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.
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 type-approved 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 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.
Eric Griffin, VP for Offshore & Fishing, Inmarsat, said, "[…] 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."