SkyMate has offered modern VMS systems to regulators and fishermen since 2003. Core to our approach was an open design to use laptops and PCs, tablets and smart phones for the user interface. Our systems were known to be less expensive, more easily updated and lower power draw.
Today, many regulators are considering two big VMS related changes. One is the information exchanged. In the past, many regulators settled for a periodic location report and an exception event notice. Despite the system having a two way ship-shore connection to the vessel, the utilization was minimal. That is changing. Regulators need more information, for example, declarations and catch reports. They need to communicate – send emails or have access to messaging exchanges. They want to support their fishermen by providing weather and emergency SOS notifications. In short, tomorrow’s VMS systems will need an onboard user interface. Furthermore, they want the flexibility to use their own tools. A regulator’s own catch report system operating on an android tablet. They need the VMS to be a communications backbone. Flexibility. Modern Interfaces. Ease of Use. SkyMate.
Second, many regulators are looking at expanding the scope of their VMS practices to cover fisheries within the EEZ. As this new area opens up, fleets where many spend nights and off days at shore, the opportunities for flexible reporting emerge. Every X minutes offshore, once a day onshore, with immediate reporting if the vessel moves, for instance. This cuts communications by major amounts.
For the fisherman, the tools that the system provides that he can use to help him succeed make adoption of the regulatory demands much easier. The system provides the owner the ability to monitor and communicate with his vessels (text, email, forms), the ability to monitor and control onboard systems. For the captain, the system provides key communications tools, email & texting, emergency response requests (SOS) and current weather and forecast information. For the crew, the future will include private communications tools. SkyMate allows for billing of service that separates regulators and their needs, with the fisherman and his.
SkyMate is approved in many jurisdictions around the world, including the very demanding Greater Atlantic Region of NOAA in the US where the system includes dozens of reports and declarations, 10000 + activity codes and annual software upgrades. It has always been a leader in bringing modern approaches to the VMS marketplace. It is easy to use, easy to install and easy to budget for.