Spanish technology company Satlink, the only foreign firm to be certified to supply monitoring systems to the United Kingdom artisanal fleet

13 July 2022

The Spanish technology company Satlink is the only foreign firm that has been certified and authorized by the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) to supply its Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) to the UK small-scale fishing fleet. The company continues to consolidate its international leadership as a supplier of the most advanced and reliable fisheries management systems on the market, adding to this certification the one granted by the United States earlier this year to supply its onboard electronic monitoring system to the U.S. fleet.

The British Government’s authorization is a response to the entry into force, at the end of this year, of the regulation that will oblige vessels of less than 12 meters in length that operate in national waters to transmit their position, course, and navigation speed data at regular intervals to the MMO. Including Satlink, four suppliers of such devices have achieved certification for the UK market. The other three are national suppliers.

Satlink solution is based on the company’s experience in the installation of this type of systems in more than 4,000 vessels worldwide. The company’s device satisfies a series of requirements in terms of dimensions, power options and costs, among other factors specified by the MMO, with the object of adapting to the variety of dimensions and budgets of the British artisanal fleet.

One of the requirements of the device is the capability of transmitting data via mobile phone signal (2G/3G/4G) instead of via satellite. This reduces the cost to be assumed by artisanal fishermen. The British agency has also valued the possibility of storing the vessel’s position historic (a position/minute) for up to a year. This functionality makes it possible to store a continuous location record in areas without mobile coverage and subsequently transmit the stored information to the MMO, once the vessel has a quality signal.

In addition, the Satlink device has an integrated rechargeable battery that provides a 50-hour autonomy and the option of power supply through a solar panel installed on the deck of the vessel. This allows its operation with minimal impact on the rest of the electrical systems.

With this measure, the UK Government plans to improve the collection of fisheries data and adopt more informed management mechanisms, following the UK exit from the Common Fisheries Policy because of Brexit.