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As a result of the encouragement by the government and the growing trend of using VMS as a means of MCS in fisheries management, as well as the cost-effectiveness of the automatic location communicators (ALC), by the end of 2000, a total of 452 fishing vessels had installed the system, and the number was increased to 647 vessels by the end of 2002 and further increased to 700 vessels by the end of 2003. In 2005, there are more than 800 vessels have installed. In 2006, there are more than 1,500 vessels have installed. Through years of development, as of 2012 there are over 2,000 vessels under monitoring by the monitoring center in OFDC.

Presently, according to the direction from the government and as the monitoring center of VMS, this Council monitored the fishing activities of following vessels.

A. Longliners:

All tuna longliners operating on the high sea respectively are required to report their positions on the required frequency via VMS to this Council. In addition, the Fisheries Agency of Taiwan (FA) requires vessels fishing for bigeye tuna in the Atlantic Ocean to report electronic-logbook (e-logbook) daily via VMS, to facilitate collection of catch data. In 2017, more than 1,500 longliners were under monitoring by OFDC monitoring center.

B. Squid jiggers and Pacific saury stick-held dip net vessels:

Squid jiggers are required to report their positions via VMS in the period of squid fishing, together with the transmission of e-logbook. Pacific saury stick-held dip net vessels are required to comply with the same regulation as squid jiggers. By 2017, more than one hundred squid jiggers and Pacific saury stick-held dip net vessels are under monitoring. Under domestic regulations in Taiwan, the squid and Pacific saury vessels are required to report their positions once a day, together with their catch by e-logbook via VMS.

C. Purse Seiners:

In 2017, there were more than 30 purse seiner vessels under monitoring by the OFDC monitoring center, reporting their positions hourly(positions was increased as every half hour between July and November).

D. Fish carriers:

Fish carriers are required to transmit their position report via VMS per four hours. In 2017, OFDC monitoring center monitored 16 national flag carriers.

E. Offshore and coastal vessels:

For safety and compliance reasons, some offshore and coastal vessels are required to install VMS and shall be monitored by OFDC monitoring center. The monitoring center monitored more than one hundred vessels fishing near the disputed waters between Taiwan and Japan. OFDC also monitored vessels harvesting coral, recreational fishing vessels and live fish carriers. There are around 300 offshore and coastal vessels have been monitored by VMS.

I. Shipboard Equipment

Three satellite systems are allowed to use for position transmission, including Inmarsat-C, Argos and Iridium Satellite. In 2017, there are 10 types of ALC/MTU have been approved to install on fishing vesselsin Taiwan(as below):

System Type
Inmarsat-C Thrane   and   Thrane 3020C
Thrane   and   Thrane 3022D
Thrane   and   Thrane   3026S
Thrane   and   Thrane   6140
Argos CLS   MAR-GE
CLS   MAR-GE   2
Iridium CLS   Thorium   TST-100
CLS   Triton ADV

II. Applications of the information provided by the VMS

A. Provide the government with clear picture of fishing activities of vessels.

B. Provide vessel owners with useful, convenient and accurate information via internet.

C. Provide impartial position information of vessels at time of dispute.

D. Important source of position data for verification at time of issuing of catch statistical documents required for export.

E. VMS with internet function can greatly upgrade the communication between vessel and the owner, to provide the vessel with information on fishing grounds, factors affecting fishing conditions and market of fish, and vice verse receiving information from the vessel on catch on board, stock of engine parts and dry cargo to keep track of the supply.

F. Used in conjunction with a real-time summary of both hydrological and fish stock movement information, the information provided by the VMS can increase catch while lowering the cost in searching of fish. However, reliable information source is not easily available.

G. Assistance of the more intensified positions provided by the OFDC monitoring center through e-mails, facsimiles and cellular phone messages, several cases of vessel rescues were launched by the competent rescue units. For example, when fishing vessels entered the pirate warning area, we could immediately issue a warning to avoid pirate attack.

III. Future Developments

A. Integration of other function of INMARSAT information and other satellite information such as water temperature, phytoplankton in the seawater to study the abundance contribution of tunas.

B. The complete development of Monitoring, Control and Surveillance (MCS) of all aspects of the fishery including fishing, catch reporting, port entry, and eventual sale of catch, making all relevant information from each of these steps readily accessible to both individual ships and boat owners.