A number of Indonesian fishing vessels have been rescued thanks to their participation in a pilot project between the Indonesian Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries (KKP), the UK Space Agency, and a consortium of private companies led by Inmarsat.
Part of the UK Space Agency’s International Partnership Programme (IPP), the pilot scheme aims to reduce illegal fishing in Indonesia, which is the second largest fishing market in the world after China. The programme also seeks to redress ecologically-unsustainable fishing, and improve safety and livelihood security of the fishing community in Indonesia.
As part of the pilot scheme, 200 small boats in Indonesia have been fitted with a satellite-based Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) utilizing Inmarsat’s Machine-to-Machine (M2M) service IsatData Pro. Through the VMS, fishermen have been able to communicate more easily, as well as receive near real-time fishing data.
The first vessel to be rescued was Rizki Jaya 03, which had been hit by a tanker and which managed to use satellite communications to request for help from a nearby vessel. In another instance, a vessel experiencing engine problems was rescued by pressing a panic button on the VMS system.
James Cemmell, Vice President, Government Engagement at Inmarsat, said: “These rescues show that addressing the digital divide amongst the fishers community can make the difference between life and death as well as delivering transformational sustainability benefits to the oceans’ environment and the fisheries sector, which underpins so much of Indonesia’s economy.”