Seamless global coverage through Inmarsat’s Fleet Xpress keeps fishing vessels connected in even the most remote locations while allowing operators to access and make provisions for the many benefits of digitalisation.

Robust satellite communications are critical to the safe operation of fishing vessels, particularly in remote waters, but they are also essential for protecting against cyber-attacks and allowing crew to stay connected with their lives on shore – two increasingly important considerations in today’s maritime sector. Reliable connectivity also provides a portal to digitalisation, enabling fisheries to leverage data analysis and find solutions to further enhance safety and seafarer welfare, as well as to improve the efficiency and sustainability of fleet operations in line with emerging requirements.

As the world leader in global, mobile satellite communications, Inmarsat has been keeping fisheries safe and connected for over 40 years. Founded by the International Maritime Organization in 1979 to establish a satellite communications network for protecting lives at sea, Inmarsat continues to invest in maritime safety to this day. Its recently launched Fleet Safety solution brings distress communication into the digital era of shipping, allowing seafarers to contact, by voice or instant messaging, a network of over 50 global maritime rescue coordination centres at the touch of a button.

Another key element in Inmarsat’s maritime connectivity offering is Fleet Xpress, whose unparalleled performance and seamless global coverage make it the connectivity service of choice for fisheries operating in isolated locations. In a recent example, Norwegian company Ava Ocean, formerly Tau Tech, signed up to Fleet Xpress to facilitate its sustainable scallop harvesting in the Barents Sea. The traditional seabed-dredging method of harvesting scallops was banned by Norwegian authorities in the early 1990s due to its damaging effects on marine ecosystems, but Ava Ocean’s pioneering approach represents a viable alternative. By facilitating the identification, selection and sorting of shells without destroying surrounding flora and fauna, the company aims to revive scallop harvesting at a commercial scale.

Ava Ocean is one of many maritime enterprises whose operations stand to benefit from Inmarsat’s plans to expand its Arctic coverage. With demand increasing for high-quality connectivity in remote regions, GX10A and 10B will become the world’s first highly elliptical orbit (HEO) payloads exclusively serving the Arctic Circle, making Inmarsat the only provider offering dedicated mobile-broadband communications in the High North. The multi-beam, high-throughput HEO payloads will ensure continuous coverage and offer the ability to direct capacity in real time, keeping fisheries and other maritime companies connected in some of the hardest-to-reach locations on Earth.

Yet Inmarsat’s support of Ava Ocean extends beyond the provision of satellite communications, with Fleet Xpress allowing the company to digitalise and future-proof its operations in the long term. Fleet Xpress presents shipowners with a broad portfolio of value-added services delivered, such as Fleet Hotspot, Fleet Data and other, delivered via a secure, dedicated network with no impact on mission-critical bandwidth. Users can upgrade their plans easily to facilitate a flexible, step-by-step approach to digitalisation, adopting applications at a pace that suits them.

Fleet Hotspot gives crew access to high-speed connectivity to enjoy communication and entertainment services on their own devices, improving onboard welfare and thereby supporting the retention and recruitment of seafarers. Fleet Data is an end-to-end IoT platform for data collection, transfer, storage and analysis to improve efficiency, sustainability, safety and compliance.

To safeguard vessels against the growing threat of cyber-attacks, Inmarsat’s multi-layered endpoint-security service, Fleet Secure, combines three components: Fleet Secure Endpoint, Fleet Secure Unified Threat Management (UTM) and Fleet Secure Cyber Awareness. Endpoint automatically monitors threats, identifies traces of infection and blocks attacks to protect all online endpoints on a ship’s network; UTM is a comprehensive package of network security tools consolidated on one device; and Cyber Awareness is a training programme providing crew with best-practice guidance on vulnerabilities and suspicious online behaviour.

Powered by Inmarsat’s Ka-band Global Xpress network, Fleet Xpress keeps fishing vessels connected in the world’s most isolated waters – and allows owners to seize the many and varied opportunities of digitalisation to future-proof their operations.

For more information on Inmarsat’s solutions in the fishing sector, please visit Inmarsat:Fishing

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