News this week that Devon and Severn Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority (DSIFCA) is going ahead with the planned introduction of I-VMS units aboard all vessels between 6.99m and 11.99m which are permitted to use mobile fishing gear in the District has been widely welcomed by the industry.
The government funded pilot which is being spearheaded by Common Seas will see up to 100 small inshore vessels fitted with one of three approved I-VMS units over the coming months as part of a wider plan to safeguard the future of the industry.
Succorfish is one of the three approved suppliers who have worked with Common Seas to create fit for purpose, user friendly mobile enabled systems but, with three systems to choose from, what should fishermen be looking for when choosing their I-VMS system?
Succorfish has outlined a number of key questions that fishermen should be asking when choosing the right system to suit them:
What systems are available to purchase and what will they cost me?
The short answer is nothing! This is a government-funded pilot and I-VMS units have been pre-selected from three different suppliers, Succorfish M2M, AST and Echo Master Marine based on a range of key performance criteria. The government will fund the purchase of the I-VMS system for the vessels included within the pilot. Each system is broadly similar in its use but there are a number of differences fishermen need to be aware of when choosing the correct system for them.
What are the size differences between each I-VMS unit?
They range in size although the smaller, more agile unit is the Succorfish SC2 device at 111 x 60 x 55mm (LxWxH). This is a key consideration of course when choosing a unit that must fit within the limited space available on your vessel.
Where have the different I-VMS units been manufactured?
Again, each unit is different. The AST unit has been manufactured in Slovenia and the Echo Master Marine in Spain. Succorfish M2M manufactures all components in the USA at our manufacturing base in San Diego but the device is assembled, manufactured and programmed at our base in the UK to maintain our high standards and quality control.
How much will it cost to install an I-VMS system on my vessel?
It will cost you nothing for installation. The I-VMS units are installed free of charge to all fisherman included in the pilot. All Succorfish SC2 units are installed by experienced Tecmarine installation engineers.
What happens if the I-VMS system I’ve chosen breaks down?
Succorfish M2M operates a robust system for repairs. Every SC2 unit has a five year warranty and free local swap outs are available along with field spares and emergency stock is held with local agents to ensure no lost fishing time if an issue does occur. There is an extended warranty option for a further £120 but all repairs are undertaken in the UK so are quick and effective – there is a one week guaranteed turnaround on warranty repairs or replacements to cut back on the need for expensive engineers.
What is the annual airtime charge and how much will it cost?
Each supplier will be offering their own packages, but Succorfish can offer fishermen 2 years free airtime and thereafter a competitive rate of £100 p.a. and this cover all transmission, data storage and access costs, with a guarantee of no surprises.
How do I access the data contained within the I-VMS system?
All data produced by an I-VMS system can be accessed at any time however; only two of the three I-VMS suppliers have made data access free of charge. Succorfish M2M is one of them and all historic data will be available via a secure web page as an ongoing free of charge service. Importantly, the Succorfish system is mobile friendly and will have automated alerts to notify fishermen if the device battery is running low and also when the device stops reporting altogether. Again, this helps to avoid surprises and minimise any impact on valuable fishing time.
Tom Rossiter, head of Fisheries at Succorfish believes the extensive consultation undertaken by Succorfish to understand what the industry wants from I-VMS has played a significant role in developing the SC2 device.
He said: “We have been fortunate to work closely with both Common Seas and Devon and Severn Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority (DSIFCA) over the past 8 years to ensure that the I-VMS systems will meet the needs of both the fishermen and the government departments. By working so closely with the inshore fishing industry we have gained the experience and insight needed to provide a truly fit for purpose solution.”
“We are hugely optimistic that this pilot project which has been thoroughly planned will prove to be the bedrock that the UK fishing industry requires as we move ever closer to March 2019 and post Brexit waters. We have cried for many years about the inadequacies and unfairness of the CFP, well this is our chance to get it right and it’s critical that we do it from day 1.”
All vessels between 6.99m and 11.99m, in the Devon and Severn Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority (DSIFCA) District will receive official notification from Common Seas about timeframes for choosing and installing an I-VMS system, together with a comparison table of the three approved systems from: AST, Echo Master Marine and Succorfish M2M.
We would encourage any fishermen with a question to contact Succorfish directly and we will be more than happy to advise and inform on both Succorfish M2M system and I-VMS in general. Please contact Tom directly on 07718191347.
It is anticipated that all vessels involved in the pilot will have fully usable I-VMS systems up and running by May 2018.