Vessel Monitoring System (VMS)
Following an EU open procurement exercise in 2003 AST MSL was awarded a major contract by DEFRA (which included the individual Fisheries Departments in the UK, comprising England, Scotland, Northern Ireland & the Isle of Man), to fit and maintain satellite GPS vessel monitoring system on the UK’s over 15 metre fishing fleet.
AST MSL worked closely with DEFRA to agree the design, operation and reporting features of the vessel monitoring system to meet EU and UK monitoring requirements. AST MSL project managed the installation of over 800 vessels and continue to monitor and maintain the system, providing maintenance support to vessels whose VMS terminal have failed as well as providing regular reports to the fishing authorities on the condition of the UK fleet.
The core satellite tracking transponder, known as a mini-C utilises the Inmarsat C global satellite network and is still in operation today however has been largely replaced on the UK Fishing Fleet by the next generation AST VMS+ -see vessel monitoring VMS+.