The Vessel Monitoring System
What is the Vessel Monitoring System (VMS)?
VMS is a satellite based, near real time, positional tracking system. These devices consist of a Global Positioning System (GPS) and a satellite data transmitter that provides information on vessel name, location and activity. License conditions in certain fisheries require that fishing vessels carry a VMS unit approved by Fisheries and Oceans Canada. VMS is not intended to replace existing mandatory safety equipment.
How does VMS work?
A VMS unit is about the size of a small radio with an antenna. Data is sent to a satellite, relayed to a station on the ground and then sent to the designated vessel-monitoring centre in near real time or at pre-determined time intervals.
The VMS device is available with a backup battery that allows it to continue to operate in the event of a power failure.
What are the benefits of VMS?
VMS provides Fisheries and Oceans Canada with important information to manage fisheries resources.
VMS improves compliance with fisheries regulations by providing regular positional information of vessel activity.
VMS improves the cost-efficiency of observer deployments and monitoring conducted under the Dockside Monitoring Program.
VMS provides Fisheries and Oceans Canada with additional information about the status of fish stocks and fish movement by contributing to increased accuracy and timeliness of catch-and-effort information. This data provides valuable information to ensure the continued sustainable management of fisheries resources.
II. Data Communication
The VMS unit has a two-way data communication port that can provide email access while at sea with the addition of a laptop computer. This allows the crew onboard a vessel to communicate directly with their family and friends.
Is VMS used in other locations?
There are many fisheries in the Atlantic Region that are required to be equipped with VMS devices, notably various scallop, crab, groundfish and shrimp fleets.
VMS is widely used in many fisheries throughout the world.
All foreign and domestic vessels fishing groundfish and shrimp in the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization Regulatory Area outside Canada’s 200 mile limit are required to have a VMS device onboard that transmits positional information, in addition to its course and speed.
How much does the system cost?
Fisheries and Oceans Canada continues to evaluate devices that are both cost-effective for fish harvesters and meet regulatory requirements.
Unit pricing starts at approximately $1500, but can be higher if additional features are chosen. Savings can be achieved with volume purchasing.
For more information on The Vessel Monitoring System
please contact Fisheries and Oceans Canada
at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 1-888-772-8225.
Communications Branch, Fisheries and Oceans Canada,
Newfoundland and Labrador Region,
P.O. Box 5667, St. John’s, NL A1C 5X1
The Vessel Monitoring System [PDF 593 KB]
© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, 2010
- Date modified: