Alaskan Leader Fisheries will give Inmarsat’s new high-speed broadband maritime communications service, Fleet Xpress, a try on the 150-foot longline cod catcher/processor Alaskan Leader.

The Alaskan Leader. Alaskan Leader Fisheries photo.The deal was announced by Inmarsat last week and marks the first commission of the new service in the remote Bering Sea.

In addition to helping Alaskan Leader’s shore-based sales teams with up-to-date catch information, the service is also intended to support the company’s crew welfare initiatives, providing reliable communication with family and friends and internet access on long trips at sea.

The installation on Alaskan Leader was completed by Inmarsat partners Network Innovations and Fusion Marine Technology. It includes a Cobham 100GX 1-meter VSAT antenna, which was specifically built to withstand tough weather and provide stable connectivity regardless of conditions and location.

If the first installation is successful, Alaskan Leader Fisheries will look to add Fleet Xpress across their entire fleet of vessels, Inmarsat said. Alaskan Leader Fisheries — owned by Alaskan Leader Group and Bristol Bay Economic Development Corporation — currently owns and operates four freezer-longliners fishing out of the Aleutian Islands port of Dutch Harbor, Alaska.

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Jessica Hathaway is the former editor in chief of National Fisherman.

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