vTrack is originally developed in close cooperation with the Danish Directorate of Fisheries, where it is running in production today. The Danish Directorate of Fisheries says about the solution: "The Danish Directorate of Fisheries has been tracking a large number of fishing vessels since late 1998-
and initially the VMS data was only available to a very small number of employees, however with vTrack the data is now accessible to all of our employees.
The fishery inspectors requested some time ago that the VMS data be made available to all of our local offices, including fishery inspection vessels. Furthermore, we also wanted to integrate the VMS data with the data from our logbook-register. And finally we could also foresee a requirement to track an ever increasing number of vessels.
For these reasons, it was important that we have a system that has the scalability to handle the 600+ vessels which will be reporting once per hour. Since most other VMS software packages are subject to a per-user or per-database licensing fee (in a replicated system), our budget did not allow us to expand our existing system nor to change to another supplier in order to meet the demands of the inspectors. Together with Visma Consulting we have developed a completely new tracking system, which makes it possible for all of our inspectors to access the VMS data through a web-browser. This makes integration with our logbook register much easier. Also, since we're able to reuse existing hardware and Oracle licenses, the development cost has thus been kept at a minimum. The result has been a dramatic decrease in the yearly running cost of our new VMS-system despite an increasing number of users. "
Read the whole case - Danish Directorate of Fisheries (opens new window, PDF 216KB)
vTrack has been in production in Germany since March 2003. Bettina Gromke, responsible for the implementation: "I was surprised how easy it was to change system". The role as system administrator for the VMS system has changed considerably.
"Previously, I spent days putting VMS data together in Word documents for e.g. inspectors and statisticians. Today each of them has their own login, which gives them direct access to the data, without my help. The main reason is that vTrack's Web interface is self explanatory" states Bettina Gromke. With the old system the only VMS users were Bettina Gromke, her colleague Ms. Utech, and the ship inspectors. Today they are not counting the ship inspectors nor individual users, but rather user groups.
All users are divided into three groups:
"In the beginning, I was concerned that the developers of the system in Copenhagen were too far away if problems should arise. However, with direct access from Copenhagen they are able to help us fast. They can examine our questions and explain specific behaviors of the system that we don't understand. When problems arise they are able to correct them very quickly. Presently the system has not been down at all, and the response time is very good. Even new versions are installed without disturbance. Yes, I am very satisfied" laughs Bettina Gromke.
Read the whole case - German Federal Agency for Agriculture and Food (opens new window, PDF 643KB)
With 60,000 residents and 80 percent of the country ice-capped year round, Greenland depends on fishing for its survival. Visma Consulting Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) helps Greenland´s authorities to ensure that fishing quotas are kept.
It is also an important tool for rescue operations in the North Atlantic and Arctic oceans.
The importance of the fishing industry means the authorities are serious about monitoring quotas and protecting restricted areas.
With hundreds of thousands of square kilometers of territorial waters to control, it´s a big job. Mads Nedergaard, head of the Control & Inspection Unit of Greenland´s Directorate for Fishing and Hunting, says Visma Consulting vTrack, a web-based VMS, is "a major tool" in keeping fishermen from trawling in protected waters.
Massive "factory vessels" that catch, process, package and snap freeze fish and shrimp at sea are "very interested in going to where the biggest catches are", Nedergaard says. "vTrack helps ensure they don´t go into restricted waters". "Big vessels can cause a lot of damage to the sea bed, effectively wiping out local stocks and removing the livelihood of small coastal fishermen".
Visma Consutling vTrack provides coastal authorities that monitor fishing zones with real-time vessel positioning information and allows them to easily exchange the data with the navy, neighboring countries and international bodies. Recently, vTrack helped Nedergaard´s team to guide inspection vessels to where a local boat was poaching shrimp.
"We caught them red-handed", he says. "Without vTrack, in 9 out of 10 situations, fishermen would have gotten away with it".
The operation netted about EUR 149,000 in fines and other costs, thus helping vTrack "pay for itself". The system can also benefit search and rescue operations by informing the navy where wishing vessels are located.
Greenland fishing authorities have complemented vTrack with Visma Consulting Catch Reporting System (CRS), vCatch, enabling them to keep exact count of how much of each species of fish is caught and where. Fishing quotas are determined by historical figures on catch totals and scientific studies on the rate of depletion of fish stocks. Without vCatch Greenland would have trouble preserving its quota levels or selling fishing rights to other countries, another key source of revenue.
"Both vTrack and vCatch are important means to protect the livelihood of Greenland fishermen", Nedergaard says.
"But, they don´t always see it that way", he concedes - "For them it´s a police tool. Nevertheless, most fishermen accept being a part of the system and have no problem with that".
Martin Panduro Olesen, Team Manager for Visma Consulting in Denmark, where fishing authorities helped develop vTrack and vCatch, says: "When most people hear public control, they think it´s negative. But with no control, soon there´ll be no fish". Nedergaard says the success of the systems has allowed Greenland to live up to its international obligations. "That gains us the credibility we must have to prove we can manage our natural resources and to stand up and argue for the right quotas", he says. "If we didn´t have vTrack and vCatch we´d be finished2.
vTrack- A "repeatable solution" from Visma Consulting
Countries using vTrack:
vTrack is a Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) that arms coastal authorities with a key enforcement tool to control access to its territorial waters and prevent illegal fishing. Once an hour a GPS position is automatically sent from all vessels to a VMS system in each costal state. The public authority can then look at the position of all vessels on a GIS interface, both from the office and onboard patrol vessels. If a vessel enters a restricted area it triggers an alarm and fishery inspectors can take immediate action.
International regulations stipulate that all fishing countries must have a VMS system. The base requirement for a VMS system is the same in all countries, but national authorities may introduce additional regulations. vTrack is a repeatable solution that gives each national authority all the common functionality for a VMS system. In addition, authorities have the option of adding functionality to meet specific, enhanced local regulations.
vTrack is a pure web technology that provides coastal authorities that monitor protected fishing zones through a GIS interface with unlimited access to real-time vessel positioning information via satellite, allowing them to readily exchange
key tracking data with the navy, neighboring countries and international bodies. The GPS positions are recorded by a transceiver on the vessel and sent through a satellite connection to a Land Earth Station (LES).
vTrack receives the positions real-time from the LES, passes the information though a Java component to examine whether an alert must be raised and stores the position in an Oracle Spatial database.
Read the whole case - Visma Consulting Vessel Monitoring System helps Greenlanders secure their livelihood (opens new window, PDF 558KB)
The Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO) is a regional fisheries management organization founded in 1979, due to the introduction of 200 miles Exclusive Economic Zones.
The main objective of NAFO is to ensure the long term conservation and sustainable use of the fishery resources in the convention area, and in doing so, to safeguard the marine ecosystems in which these resources are found.
NAFO has 12 contracting parties: Canada, Iceland, Cuba, Japan, Denmark (in respect of the Faroe Islands and Greenland), Norway, The European Union, The Russian Federation, France (in respect of St. Pierre and Miquelon), Ukraine, and USA.
NAFO has since 2003 made use of VMS to support their objective. Visma Consulting vTrack was introduced in 2007.
vTrack is primarily used, within NAFO, as an enforcement instrument; however, recently the use of VMS data has expanded to include aiding fisheries managers in their decision making process. NAFO recognizes that better monitoring, leads to better data, which allows for better science; and better science ensures better management of fish stocks.
NAFO uses the vTrack data in their analysis of fishing activities through the following activities:
Based on the data above NAFO are able to make the necessary analysis with two main focuses:
"Visma Consulting has provided NAFO with VMS services since 1 January 2008. vTrack has proven to be stable, flexible and robust during this time." (NAFO Secretariat, Executive Secretary, Dr. Vladimir Shibanov)
Read the whole case - Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization use of vTrack (opens new window, PDF 814KB)
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