Vessel monitoring systems are now a standard part of the MCS toolkit. MRAG have experience of the practical management of vessel monitoring systems, analysis and assessment of VMS data and advice relating to setting up, commissioning or developing VMS functionality.

MRAG currently manage the VMS on behalf of the Government of St Helena, tracking both St Helena flagged vessels and vessels operating in the tuna fisheries in the EEZs of St Helena and Ascension Island. We previously managed the VMS for the British Indian Ocean Territory pre-implementation of the BIOT Marine Protected Area when licensed fishing ceased.

MRAG have also developed in-house capacity for the analysis and assessment of VMS data. This has been used for environmental and vulnerable marine ecosystem impact assessments where the VMS tracks are interpolated and a techniques applied to generate a vessel “footprint” of where impacts will have occurred. Similarly, this sort of analysis has been used as part of licensing operations where VMS data are submitted by vessels to prove that they have not been engaging in illegal activity. Analyses are performed on the data and any outliers outside normal fishing behaviour will be raised, checked and verified before licences are issued.

MRAG have also prepared technical reviews of the options available for setting up vessel monitoring systems. For example, when the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) was being setup, MRAG prepared a series of papers for the Technical and Compliance Committee (TCC) on the options available for centralised systems that would both fulfil the role of the Commission but provide seamless integration with the VMS already in place at the Forum Fisheries Agency that covered the vessels operating in the EEZs of Pacific Island Coastal States.
MRAG have also assisted in the preparation of technical requirements for VMS tendering processes and the review of submissions, assisting decision making processes for States requiring a VMS implementation.


Title Region End Date
St Helena Vessel Monitoring System

MRAG initially gave advice to the Government of St Helena on the development of…

Supporting Liberia and Sierra Leone’s Fishery Management Improvement

The objective of this project was to provide technical assistance for the World Bank…

MRAG Project Feasibility Study and Assessment of Operational Costs of Options for the Commission Vessel Monitoring System

Detailed description of project

MRAG provided advice to the…

South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands Fisheries Management.

The work undertaken by MRAG for Government of South Georgia and the South Sandwich…

Atlantic Ocean
Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) for British Indian Ocean Territories (BIOT)

On behalf of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) MRAG has aided in the…

Indian Ocean
Provision of a study on information systems supporting fisheries controls in the European Union (CFCA/2010/B/02)

This project contributes to the formulation of recommendations on best practices and…

MRAG Project Options for the Development for a Vessel Monitoring System for the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission

MRAG were contracted to develop and deliver a background paper in order to assist…

MRAG Project Technical Assistance to the Falkland Islands Vessel Monitoring System

Due to a period of enforced maintenance work being conducted on the Falkland Islands…

Atlantic Ocean
Evidential Value of Vessel Monitoring Systems (VMS)

MRAG assessed to what extent VMS information could constitute primary evidence in…