THE STUDY OF OFFSHORE VESSEL MONITORING SYSTEMS

R. G. Bland

Peer Reviewed

Abstract: In the Port and Tanker Safety Act of 1978 the U. S. Congress directed the Department of Transportation to perform a study of the desirability and feasibility of a shore station system for monitoring vessels, including fishing vessels, offshore within the 200 nm U. S. Fishery Conservation Zone (FCZ), and provide a report of the findings and recommendations to Congress in October 1980. This paper presents a summary of the study. Coast Guard missions that a Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) would directly benefit are: Port and Environmental Safety, Enforcement of Laws and Treaties, and Search and Rescue. Most other missions would receive indirect benefits. The benefits to the mariner are operating cost savings, due to improved efficiency, and improved safety at sea. A VMS concept called the Offshore Traffic Information System (OTIS) was developed which utilizes computer correlation techniques to derive vessel movement data augmented with vessel reports and remote sensor data. A major function of OTIS is to provide timely vessel information to the decision makers and field personnel for effective use of resources. Vessel owners and masters indicated 80 percent of the large commercial vessels would cooperatively report to a vessel monitoring system, while 22 percent of the small commercial and domestic fishing vessels and 12 percent of the recreational vessels would participate. Alternative OTIS implementations were evaluated in terms of cost, effectiveness, benefits and implementation considerations. A hybrid system of 20 percent cooperative vessel reporting and 80 percent remote sensing for noncooperative vessels was recommended.
Published in: NAVIGATION, Journal of the Institute of Navigation, Volume 27, Number 4
Pages: 280 - 289
Cite this article: Bland, R. G., "THE STUDY OF OFFSHORE VESSEL MONITORING SYSTEMS", NAVIGATION, Journal of The Institute of Navigation, Vol. 27, No. 4, Winter 1980-1981, pp. 280-289.
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