[Coral-List] Vessel Monitoring Systems and MPA's

Dr. Stephen Jameson sjameson at coralseas.com
Wed Sep 12 18:39:24 EDT 2007

Dear Duncan,

Regarding your Coral-list note:

> A filed study has been carried out into the impact of anchoring
> by tankers using the oil storage facility on the island. The rapid
> assessment survey concentrated on relative proportions of coral cover and
> algae/rubble cover, and found that coral cover in the anchoring areas, and
> more importantly some distance outside of the designated zones, was zero.

> The recommendations of the report include the development and installation
> of a Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) to consolidate and improve the
> effectiveness of the paper based monitoring already carried out by the
> storage facility. It is hoped that such a system will enable the Marine
> Park, Harbour Master and head pilots from the storage facility to monitor
> traffic, prevent illegal anchoring on reefs and enforce the legislation that
> exists.

> Does anyone have experience with the development and maintenance of a VMS on
> a small scale and as and MPA management tool? If so, what are the main
> stages of the development of a system, and how much did it cost?

A couple of simple and inexpensive solutions come to mind based on my
experience as a NOAA Commissioned Officer on oceanographic ships.

1.  Land-based range markers: that ships could use to determine if they were
in the safe anchoring zone (a visual position fixing method).  These would
be lighted for night operations.

2.  Radar ranges and bearings: by the Harbor Master to confirm ships
location before anchoring.  Ship/Pilot would radio into Harbor Master when
in position to drop anchor to receive permission to drop anchor  (ship/pilot
uses range markers, GPS, and radar to fix position).  Harbor Master then
confirms on his radar that ship is in safe location.

Please contact me if your VMS needs more extensive operational capabilities.

I hope this helps.

Best regards,

Dr. Stephen C. Jameson, President
Coral Seas Inc. - Integrated Coastal Zone Management
4254 Hungry Run Road, The Plains, VA  20198-1715  USA
Office:  703-754-8690, Fax:  703-754-9139
Email:  sjameson at coralseas.com
Web Site:  http://www.coralseas.com

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