Vessel Management System
VMS is used to monitor vessels in the territorial waters of a country or a subdivision of a country, or in the Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ) that extend 200 nautical miles (370.4 km) from the coasts of many countries. VMS systems are used to improve the management and sustainability of the marine environment, through ensuring proper fishing practices and the prevention of illegal fishing, and thus protect and enhance the livelihoods of fishermen.
A VMS can enhance the monitoring, control and surveillance (MCS) of fisheries in a cost-effective manner. Traditional MCS methods, such as aerial and surface patrols, are deployed randomly, or based on assessments of historical vessel activity and third party information. This is an inefficient and expensive use of personnel and equipment, and the coverage of these traditional methods is relatively limited. A VMS continually informs the management authority of the location of each participant in a fishery at all times, at a fraction of the cost of traditional methods. The VMS database can also consolidate other information about vessels and operators (e.g. vessel characteristics, contact information, licenses and registries, etc.), making this information available in one convenient location.
VMS can play a range of roles in vessel and fishermen safety. Situations like search and rescue, SOS, weather warning. For all such events rescue teams can be deployed. Other big advantage is VMS alerts the vessel 15km before crossing into neighbouring country where they are held captives for indefinite time-frame.
Unauthorized fishing likely is deterred. On-board VMS equipment reminds the vessel operator that the management authorities are monitoring the vessel’s activity. This may encourage operators to conform to fisheries regulations, if they believe that enforcement action will result from unauthorized activity that is detected.