Artisanal fishing boat. (Photo: Dinara)
Pilot experiment for increased safety and management of artisanal fisheries
Friday, February 21, 2014, 04:00 (GMT + 9)
Uruguayan artisanal fishermen are beginning to implement a modern broad scope system of automatic identification, under an agreement that the National Directorate of Aquatic Resources (DINARA) has with the National Naval Prefecture (PNN).
It is the AIS (Automatic Identification System), which runs from devices that communicate information (beacons) placed on each vessel. The data (such as position, speed and course) is transmitted through waves to other ships or ground stations.
One of the main objectives of this initiative is to improve fishing information coming from each vessel. This enhances personnel safety, because it avoids collisions and sends signals in case of accidents.
The idea is that in the future this system can be used as a tool for better compliance with current regulations, both in terms of order and security.
The DINARA (through the GEF DINARA FAO GCP/URU/030/GFF Project) organized a meeting in the city of Atlantida with fishermen from Canelones and Maldonado, to present the main features and functionalities of the AIS system. The talk was given by DINARA and GEF’s officials, and representatives of the supplier company.
So far, AIS is compulsory only in vessels over 300 gross tonnes. Now it has began to be implemented on a pilot experiment basis on artisanal fishery vessels who volunteer for the process in order to evaluate it as an alternative to other systems (using satellite technology is more expensive).
In this experimental phase that has just started, the placement of 15 radar beacons on the same number of boats is expected.