Vessel Monitoring Systems (VMS) help the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) monitor the position, course and speed of Commonwealth fishing vessels and are a key tool in ensuring compliance of the Commonwealth fishing fleet.
AFMA monitors VMS compliance rates at the individual boat level, and across the whole fleet. When the fleet-wide compliance rate drops below a certain level in two consecutive months AFMA implements compliance action.
Due to a recent drop in VMS compliance rates AFMA is implementing VMS compliance action during February 2017.
This means any vessel with the VMS system off that has not sought permission for a ‘temporary switch off’ may be required to either return to or remain in port until such time AFMA investigates and the issue is resolved.
AFMA understands that VMS units need to be switched off for a variety of reasons, including placing the boat on the slip for maintenance or tying it up for a break.
There are arrangements available to cater for these circumstances and it is the operator’s responsibility to submit a temporary switch off application to email@example.com prior to the unit being switched off.