Fisheries Monitoring Centre
The Fisheries Monitoring Centre (FMC) at Naval Base Haulbowline, is the designated National centre with responsibility for satellite monitoring of all fishing activity in Irish Exclusive Fisheries Limits (EFL)
and all Irish fishing vessels operating around the world.
The Fisheries Monitoring Centre supervises and co-ordinates all matters concerning fisheries that are within the Naval Service's area of responsibility. In addition, it keeps Naval Command fully briefed on current activity, trends and development in sea fisheries.
The Naval Service Fisheries Monitoring Centre has developed partnerships with the following organisations:
- National partner with the Department of Communications, Marine & Natural Resources
- International Partner with Fisheries Monitoring Centres in all EU coastal states
- International links with NEAFC and other worldwide fishery organisations.
The Naval Service Fisheries Monitoring Centre use Geographical Information Systems to display the location and activities of all fishing vessels in Irish territorial waters. This allows its personnel to give fisheries briefs to Naval Command and ship's officers, to assist in planning, and to analyse seasonal, EU national, and species fishing effort.
Role of the Fisheries Monitoring Centre
Assist in the effective implementation of European and national fisheries regulations
- Monitor all Irish Fishing vessels worldwide
- Monitor all fishing activity within Irish territorial waters
- Provide strategic information on fishing resources to the Government
- Provide Naval Command with the best up to date advice and support in relation to all aspects of Fishery Protection
Vessel Monitoring System (VMS)
The Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) is a system which processes information passed by Irish registered fishing vessels using onboard satellite communications regarding their position, effort and catch.
These systems are used primarily in the Fishery Monitoring Centre (FMC), onboard Patrol Vessels and onboard Air Corps Maritime Patrol Aircraft on fishery protection duties.
The vessel monitoring system in use by the Fisheries Monitoring Centre and was originally installed in 2000 and it provides a visual display of all fishing vessel positions within Irish EFL and worldwide positions for Irish fishing vessels.
All fishing vessels over 15 metres have a transponder system fitted since 1st Jan 2005. The system uses vSatellite technology. There are approximately 400 vessels active in Irish EFL each day.
Fishery Protection System - Lirguard
The Naval Service has automated its fishery protection function to a large extent and database and geographical information systems have been developed and in use since the mid 1990s.
Lirguard is the current fisheries protection system in use by the Naval Service.
Lirguard FPS is the overall integrated suite of systems used to manage fishery protection operations. The following systems form the Lirguard FPS:
- Fishery Information System
- Fishery Geographic System
- Fishery Legislative System
- Electronic Recording and Reporting System
Fishery Information System (FIS)
FIS is an application used to capture, maintain and report on information regarding fishing vessels, owners, skippers, registrations, permits, sightings, boarding, warnings, detentions, effort reports including positional and catch data.
The Naval Service Ships each have a replicated database that mirrors, in near real-time, the master database in Haulbowline. The FIS provides a report facility that greatly improves the flexibility and adaptability of the system for both internal and external stakeholders.
Fishery Geographic System (FGS)
FGS is a system linked with the FIS which displays vessel positions on a nautical chart background and enables a wide range of spatial and analysis operations.
As most data in the FIS is related to the positions of Fishing Vessels and Naval Service Patrol Vessels, the most practical means of displaying the information for the user is via a Geographical Information System (GIS) with the positions correctly displayed in relation to known areas and other vessels on a nautical chart background.
Fishery Legislative System (FLS)
FLS is a system to record and display details and summaries of both European Union and Irish Legislation pertaining to Fishery Protection. The system also records and displays Naval Directives on Fisheries.
From experience, the Naval Service has learned the need to have the most up-to-date information on legislation available to its personnel at sea. The forerunner to the new FLS was the Fisheries Legislation Expert System (FLES). As all Expert systems are costly in terms of resources and maintenance, the Naval Service has diversified towards a document depository with a powerful search capability, including metadata searches, maintained by the staff of the FMC.
Electronic Recording and Reporting System (ERS)
ERS is a system where all fishing vessels above 24 metres must have a Data Entry Device (DED) onboard.This replaces the paper logbook where the skipper has heretofore, entered the daily catch, ICES Zone etc. Similary, the NS inspection team at sea, deployed from the Naval Patrol Vessel to a fishing vessel, will carry a Data Capture Device (DCD). The fishing vessels information and catch details will be entered into this device. This information will then be saved to the Fisheries Information Sysytem for onward transmission. The ERS will make the process more transparent, more effecient, more accurate and less costly.
Origins of the Fisheries Monitoring Centre
The National Supervisory Centre (NSC) was established at Naval Base in mid 1980s. All Naval Service fisheries monitoring data from 1983 onwards was stored on computer. Prior to this all data on fisheries inspections had been held in paper format. This data held includes sighting, boarding, warning and detention information from naval and air resources.
The NSC was designated as the reporting centre for Fishing Vessels operating in Irish EFL. The Oracle System was enhanced with the use of a Geographical Information System and legislation tools to form a Fishery Protection Information System (FPIS).
In 1998 the Lirsat project was set up to provide transponder boxes for fishing vessels as part of a European wide scheme In 1999 we had the installation of Vessel Monitoring Systems (VMS) (Unsecured) and the conversion of NSC to a Fisheries Monitoring Centre. In 2008 the VMS was uopgraded to a secure version. The FMC is manned twenty four eyes a day seven days a week, where information is collected and distributed.
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