A new system based on the exchange of information among vessels jointly developed by the satellite telecommunications company Satlink and the Spanish tuna fleet, introduces a pioneering collaboration among different types of fleets as a new key factor for the sustainability of marine resources.

Broadly speaking, this new collaboration avoids negative interference when boats share the same area of ​​activity and has been used, for the first time, by tuna fishing and geological prospecting fleets.

In this case, the solution shares the information of the satellite buoys that the tuna boats use in their fishing gear with the geological prospecting vessels, whose activity can reach 2.5 km2. With this, these ships know the location of fishing gear avoiding collisions with an average cost in terms of environmental impact and employment, estimated at EUR 30,000 per incident.

The new system, which has already been used about 40 times in waters of more than 12 countries, mainly West Africa, has registered an efficiency ratio of 75 per cent, which has led to adopt it as a final solution for both fleets.

The new project is a pioneer in its genre and opens the door to collaboration among the different fleets as a key factor for the sustainable development of the so-called Blue Economy.

“The cooperation among the sectors that develop their activity in the marine environment is key to strengthen the sustainability strategies and from Satlink we believe that technology can help decisively to achieve it”, points out Helena Delgado, director of the scientific department of Satlink. “Avoiding interference among fleets is a good example and also the first practical implementation of many others that we are developing.”

How it works
In brief, the solution crosses the information of the satellite buoys used by the fishing gear of the tuna fleet (position and journey) with the information of the operations zones of the geological prospecting vessels and the whole process is coordinated through of Satlink technology.

The information is transmitted either through an email twice a day or through a software application, developed by Satlink and called ELB Manager, installed on the ship’s server. This software, which includes security systems so that the information can only be accessible to authorized users, makes it possible to analyze the data on the screen or export them to other cartographic systems.

The ELB Manager also guarantees better control of the buoys since it can be set up with different alarms and commands, for example, to increase the frequency of position transmission when approaching certain areas or to turn on the flashlight for a better visualization of the device at night. Likewise, when the operative moves to another area, the visual framework of the software is modified and automatically adjusted to the new zone.