Managing your MPA using AIS

Managing your Marine Protected Area using AIS

Monitoring, Control and Surveillance (MCS) by means of AIS can be applied to the management of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) – for more information on MCS, see the previous section.

Many global MPAs are under threat from pollution, overfishing, and exploitation. Access to these areas is typically by vessel, both small and large. These range from subsistence, artisanal and commercial fishers, through to cargo vessels and trawlers.

Indigenous users, who make balanced use of these areas, often suffer due to reduced catches and local pollution from Illegal Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishers, among other groups.

Mandating the carriage and operation of an AIS transponder on all vessels intending to access these MPAs allow the authorities to monitor all vessel activities, both legal and illegal. Even vessels that either do not carry, or deliberately disable their AIS transponder can be identified and their locations reported in relation to sightings by other AIS equipped vessels, i.e. triangulation.

Comprehensive AIS network management software allows for the setting of bespoke digital geographic waypoints and boundaries, that when crossed by an AIS equipped vessel, trigger on-screen, email and SMS alerts to system administrators.

Alerts can be defined by type of vessel (i.e. fishing vessel, pleasure craft, and passenger vessel), time spent within a defined area, speed of passage, time of entry and time of departure.

This allows for the effective management of many users such as, but not limited to the following:

  • Fishing – managing authorised and unauthorised access, i.e no take zones
  • Pleasure – managing mooring usage, i.e. no anchor zones
  • Eco-Tourism – managing number of vessels in area at one time, user fee access
  • Small-scale ferries – managing user fees, vessel behaviour and pollutants
  • Commercial – managing authorised and unauthorised access, speed restrictions
  • Industrial – authorised and unauthorised access, speed restrictions and pollutants
  • Search and Rescue – managing safety, security and co-ordinating with local assets
  • MPA Patrol – managing surveillance, interdiction and interception assets

All of the above features are available in our MariWeb™ AIS network management software.