Satellite tracking devices for Ecuadorian fishing fleet

The Ecuadorian artisanal fishing fleet will be outfitted with Globalstar’s satellite transmitter, the SmartOne. Credit: Paul Stein/CC BY-SA 2.0 The Ecuadorian artisanal fishing fleet will be outfitted with Globalstar’s satellite transmitter, the SmartOne. Credit: Paul Stein/CC BY-SA 2.0

A regional pilot project in Ecuador will outfit the Ecuadorian artisanal fishing fleet with life-saving satellite tracking and emergency notification devices.

Globalstar, Inc’s value added reseller VehSmart has been awarded the contract to initially outfit 4,000 small fishing boats with Globalstar’s satellite transmitter, the SmartOne.

SmartOne devices will provide Ecuadorian fishermen and women with a means for help at sea when facing a life-threatening emergency including piracy. By linking to Ecuador’s National Emergency Response System, the SmartOne devices will be outfitted with a proprietary panic button that any sailor can activate discreetly to summon a rescue. 

During 2012, 184 acts of piracy occurred against Ecuadorian fishermen, according to the Ecuadorian government. During 2013 alone, the Ecuadorian government replaced 370 stolen boat motors. Pirates steal the boat motors and leave the fishermen stranded out at sea, and often those fishermen sadly die. Between January and April of 2013, seven Ecuadorian fishermen disappeared at sea. The Globalstar SmartOne provides a means for fishermen to not only send an SOS, but also allows authorities to pinpoint the location of the distressed vessel and send lifesaving rescue personnel.

The satellite devices will also provide the Ecuadorian Vice Ministry of Aquaculture and Fisheries with a wealth of information about the seasonal movements of the fishing fleet. Authorities will be able to police overfishing and better protect exclusionary zones, such as the waters surrounding the Galapagos Islands, one of the richest and most bio diverse ecosystems on earth.

Fishermen and women will also have access to a robust software platform, protected by login script and viewable on handheld devices and computers. Boat owners will be able to access information about their vessels, track the whereabouts of loved ones at sea and use historical data to identify prime fishing areas.

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