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Regional organization

  • Member States: Australia, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Marshall Islands, Kiribati, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu

Fisheries monitored by VMS

  • Longline
  • Purse seine
  • Pole and line
  • Support vessels, including fish carriers, bunker vessels, motherships and net boats

Number of vessels monitored by VMS

  • Total: 1 024
  • Longline: 673
  • Purse seine: 190
  • Pole and line: 40
  • Fish carrier: 92
  • Bunker: 16
  • Mothership: 7
  • Net boat: 2
  • Other: 4

Vessel size range (gross tonnes)

  • Longline: 13 to 736.6
  • Purse seine: 349 to 2 739
  • Pole and line: 167.62 to 741
  • Fish carrier: 314 to 12 454
  • Bunker: 957 to 3 406
  • Mothership: 99.58 to 9 737
  • Net boat: 480.51 to 699.63

Purpose of VMS monitoring

  • Monitor compliance with fisheries regulations of FFA member country EEZs, including fishing inside Territorial Seas and other closed areas within respective EEZs.

Security measures

  • Shipboard - security seals over transceiver screws
  • Communications - encrypted Internet
  • Control centre - physical and electronic security measures, according to a security audit carried out by the Australian Defence Force

Legal framework

  • National FFA VMS legislation, enacted by most FFA members.

Funding strategy

  • Vessel operators fund equipment purchase and installation. FFA funds operational costs which are, in turn, almost fully recovered from vessel operators through application of FFA VMS Registration Fee of us$ 845 per annum.

Staffing level

  • 6 full time (VMS Support Officer, VMS Liaison Officer, VMS Administrative Assistant, Surveillance Operations Officer, Database Administrator, Network Administrator).
  • Additional support from Manager Monitoring, Control and Surveillance, and Information Technology Manager.
  • Additionally, each country has a designated FFA VMS officer whose duty it is to download vessel positions and alerts, and recommend appropriate action to surveillance authorities. Several of these officers have other duties in addition to their VMS duties.

Additional integrated programmes

  • None

Anticipated growth

  • To 1 200 vessels over next five years




Andrew Richards, Manager - Monitoring Control and Surveillance
Forum Fisheries Agency
PO Box 629
Solomon Islands
Telephone: (+677) 21124
Fax: (+677) 23995
send an email
Web site: http://www.ffa.int



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