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A new vessel monitoring system (VMS) program will help Myanmar reduce illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing and protect the sovereignty of its EEZ.

There has been a 90 percent decline in Myanmar’s marine fishery resources in the past 40 years (FAO). Myanmar’s Department of Fisheries (DOF) has been very active in the last year to implement sustainable fisheries management. A Type Approval process was launched to select the best VMS mobile terminal units to track fishing vessels and CLS’ Triton was selected. Now all offshore vessels are required to have a VMS installed.

These ‘offshore’ fishing vessels in Myanmar’s national fleet are boats over 30 ft in overall length (LOA) or with an engine with more than 25 HP. Offshore vessels are not allowed to fish within 10 nautical miles from shore, as that coastal zone is reserved for small-scale, traditional fishers and ‘inshore’ vessels.

Choosing a Vessel Monitoring System (VMS)

Vessel Monitoring System Triton

An approval process for VMS was then launched. CLS partnered with Myanmar firm AGB Communications and was one of six firms selected. CLS’ Triton Advanced VMS was type-approved for use in Myanmar, with local delivery and installation by AGB. Vessel owners may purchase from any one of the six firms. Out of the 3238 offshore fishing vessels in Myanmar, 2579 have now been installed with VMS.

CLS’ global logistics department enabled rapid deployment. In Myanmar, AGB Communications dispatched the devices to ports and installed them on the offshore vessels. Both CLS and AGB worked hard to meet the short time frame before the requirement came into force. In all, 1,115 Triton Advanced VMS were installed and activated in record time.

Benefits for Myanmar

Myanmar’s adoption of VMS and increased monitoring has been driven by two factors: first, the DOF’s desire to implement FAO guidelines for sustainable fisheries and international best practices for fisheries management; and second, neighboring Thailand’s recent ‘yellow card’ experience with the European Union. Myanmar currently exports primarily to China and Thailand, but the EU is a high value market and VMS systems are one of the keys to gaining access.

VMS enables Myanmar authorities to:

  • See where the national fleet is fishing by collecting key vessel ID and registration data, speed, heading and other data sent to their fisheries monitoring center
  • Evaluate fishing effort
  • Monitor that the offshore fleet is respecting restricted zones: the 10 nm coastal zone reserved for inshore fisheries, and respecting the Marine Protected areas for sea turtles, dolphins and sharks
  • Detect where vessels land their catch, as law requires it must be in Myanmar and not a foreign country
  • Enforce bans against transshipment
  • Coordinate inspections at sea and focus on areas where they are most needed

Triton Vessel Monitoring System

Vessel monitoring system on a fishing vessel
Triton VMS Installed on a Fishing Vessel in Myanmar

The Triton Advanced Terminal is one of the world’s leading Vessel Monitoring Systems (VMS) terminals. It automatically transmits the position, speed, heading and logbook via satellite. It is robust, highly reliable and easy-to-install.

CLS’ Triton Advanced provides Myanmar authorities with enhanced monitoring, control, and surveillance for industrial vessels. They can monitor vessel movements and use position, speed, and heading data to analyze vessel behavior for enforcement and resource management.

In the Approval specifications, Myanmar specifically required units such as the Triton Advanced that are able to send catch reports. This way, in the future they can add electronic catch reporting to be able to manage quotas in real-time.