VMS and Maritime Boundary Lines: detect crossings and mitigate risk faster

Growing maritime boundaries risk

National fisheries need to minimise the risk of crossing maritime boundaries – or at least respond quickly and appropriately if they do. But this is not necessarily a straightforward process, especially in today’s world.

Introducing BlueTraker’s new Maritime Boundary Lines (MBL) feature

Our industry-leading Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) has been further enhanced so that you can better detect your vessels’ movements and mitigate the risk of unintentional boundary crossings.

Developing on the BlueTraker Terminal’s existing GNSS technology, this latest update covers several thousand vertices to accurately determine the crossing of maritime borders to within metres. And yes, it is that accurate for every type of maritime boundary – Internal Waters, Territorial Seas, Contiguous Zones, Exclusive Economic Zones, and even contour lines for specific sea depth.

What does this mean?

Fishing vessels often cross maritime borders unintentionally. This is easily done, sure, especially with complex boundaries that mirror coastlines. But just because it is complex does not make it any less illegal, resulting in political disputes, financial penalties, economic restrictions and even international incidents – a risk that national fisheries really want to avoid.

The MBL update means your crew will instantly receive both an audio and visual alert warning when their vessel crosses a maritime boundary. This is synchronised with your SecondScreen application onshore so that you both have full visibility of the vessel’s movements – in real-time – which enables you to act faster in deciding the next course of action. And to give added peace of mind that you acted quickly and appropriately, you have a complete audit trail of the vessel’s movements stored in the system’s database.

Maritime boundaries are a unique paradox: they are borders that hold high levels of economic and political significance yet are formed with invisible lines. Everyone knows that you cannot simply draw lines in the sea.

The problem is that while many fleets use technology to identify these maritime boundaries, few are sophisticated enough to alert them in time to react and avoid repercussions.

Until now.

How can you turn invisible lines into actionable alerts?

All you need is a simple over-the-air update to directly upgrade your VMS hardware with our unique Maritime Boundary Lines feature.

Once installed, you can detect, alert and act on a faster and more accurate scale than ever, enabling you to mitigate risk before it has the chance to develop into a problem.

How does this solution look like in practice?

Let us see an example of what happens without this update (where MBLs are stored and accessed only via software in FMC). We have fishing which reports its position once every hour and is closing to the EEZ boundary line. The last reporting position was 1 km before the line, and because the vessel is travelling at the speed of 10 knots, it will make in one hour 18 km. This means that it will already be 17 km in a foreign country zone at the next reporting interval. When FMC receives this report and realises that the vessel has entered the forbidden zone, they will react (notify the ship of the crossing and ask them to return), but with a considerable delay. See figure below:

Another example of the same ship, but this time with an MBL update. In this case, MBLs are stored directly on the vessels BlueTraker VMS transponder and not only in software on land to which FMC has access (as shown in the previous example). Upon crossing of a boundary line, the warning is instantly triggered directly on the ship (with a visual and audio warning), and a report is immediately sent to FMC. Meaning that the vessel may cross in a foreign/forbidden zone a few dozen meters at most, allowing them to react on time and return without causing an international incident. See figure below:

Want to know more?

To find out more about how you can benefit from BlueTraker’s innovative new Maritime Boundary Lines update, contact a member of our team today at [email protected].

Scroll to Top