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INMARSAT AND COBHAM ASSIST FISHERIES SUSTAINABILITY IN MALDIVES

Thursday, October 15, 2020 

Inmarsat and Cobham Satcom have together been awarded a new contract to connect 732 fishing vessels active in the Maldives Economic Exclusion Zone to Inmarsat’s Fleet One maritime broadband services.

Cobham’s Sailor Fleet One utilises the existing Inmarsat-4 satellite constellation to deliver reliable voice calling and internet connectivity via a compact, lightweight antenna, with a simple installation process. The technology’s affordability makes it particularly accessible for smaller vessels looking to access maritime satellite communications for the first time.

The contract follows trials of Fleet One services and Sailor Fleet One terminals from Cobham aboard 15 boats, confirming that performance exceeds specifications for a new vessel monitoring system (VMS) under the Maldives’ Sustainable Fisheries Resources Development Project to improve Monitoring, Control and Surveillance in fisheries sector. The VMS project, agreed between Maldives-based Ooredoo and the Ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture, is funded by the World Bank.

The five-year contract envisages the supply and maintenance of the VMS, to include Fleet One satellite communications over L-band from Inmarsat, airtime and secure communications server via Integrated Monitoring (IM) and Sailor antennas from Cobham Satcom installed by Ooredoo.

“The VMS project confirms the leadership role that the Maldives continues to play in sustainable fishing and in sustaining the blue economy long-term,” said Maldives Fisheries Minister Zaha Waheed. ”It puts the maritime broadband infrastructure in place to monitor and manage operations, but also to support the welfare of those working at sea. In doing so, we have chosen technology that is reliable, scalable, progressive, cost efficient and easy to use, and a group of partners with the track records to instil confidence."

Eric Griffin, VP Offshore and Fishing, Inmarsat Maritime, said: “This is another significant government-level endorsement of Fleet One’s reliability as a vessel monitoring system platform that will also deliver extensive benefits for welfare and operational efficiency in a price-sensitive market. The platform can also provide safety add-ons such as weather monitoring and I expect word of mouth to play a significant role where data service uptake is concerned. Instant messaging will initially drive greater use as crew that are out of range of terrestrial networks stay in touch with friends and family or exchange information on fishing stocks.”

Integrated Monitoring is providing Monitor - a cloud hosted platform for GPS Tracking, Catch Reporting and Electronic Video Monitoring - to the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries for use within the Fisheries Monitoring Centre in Malé.

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