Maritime traffic monitoring progressing

Security at sea will be improved by sensors

Maritime security being studied in the Selvagens

The Diario reports that Directorate-General for Natural Resources, Safety and Maritime Services (DGRM) this week undertook the final work in completing the study on the expansion of the Vessel Traffic System and Service (VTS) to the entire Portuguese sea are, specifically the sub-areas of Madeira and the Azores.

The last step was the visit to Selvagens Islands to study the best location and conditions for the installation of sensors in the southernmost emerged territory of Portugal. The exercise involved the collaboration of the Air Force and the General Directorate of the Maritime Authority, who participated in the visit to the IFCN – Instituto das Forests and Nature Conservation and the APRAM of the Autonomous Region of Madeira.

This study aims to prepare the phase of implementation, so that Portugal, as a Coastal State, make available throughout the Portuguese sea the obligation to control and monitor maritime traffic, with the function also to provide information to the navigation through the adoption of VTS services throughout the territory.

In terms of maritime safety, the adoption of a nationwide VTS service and system will allow the establishment of security mechanisms, namely traffic separation schemes and areas to be avoided in the Autonomous Regions, perfectly integrated and harmonized with those on the mainland. Equally important is the extent of the automatic security alert systems between ships and land, such as, for example, prior notice of collision or excessive approach to a given zone. In addition, the VTS will also be a support tool for maritime rescue, to the monitoring of the future National Network of Marine Areas Protected and inspection of fisheries.

The system implementation will follow all International Maritime Organization guidelines and requirements (IMO) and the International Association of Signaling Authorities Maritime and VTS’s (IALA), which should work as a virtuous system with several purposes under cover of its sensors and integration capabilities with other sources of information that allow merging and analyzing together all data to allow the best outcome for decision support. Thus, it will be possible to obtain information captured by local sensors and by sensors which, as a whole, will allow the monitoring of the entire ZEE – Zone Exclusive national economic and extended platform.

For local sensors, everything that is static stands out, namely the RADAR equipment (surface and meteorological), AIS and VMS stations (automatic identification system), video surveillance cameras, radiogoniometers (RDF) and stations weather. In the field of remote sensors, satellite means will be used,
including photography and satellite radar, as well as the creation of interfaces to interoperate with aircraft and vessels (manned and unmanned manned) and probes and sensors.

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