Sri Lanka gets 20 bids for vessel monitoring system

Oct 25, 2010 (LBO) – Sri Lanka has received 20 bids from vendors in nine countries for a satellite-based vessel monitoring system tender which will be awarded before the end of the year, fisheries minister Rajitha Senaratne said. “We found choosing the vendor more difficult than we first thought. We have sought seeking expert help to make a decision,” he said.

“We also want the transponder to be cheap so that it will be affordable to users.”

Sri Lanka also has a problem of poaching especially in its northern waters, Senaratna said.

“We need to decide the system and also choose which satellite it uses,” Senaratna told reporters.

“We want a system where the transponders have two way communications and can send multiple messages a day.

A vessel monitoring system (VMS) keeps tracks of fishing vessels and its communications systems can be used for search and rescue. VMS systems are also used for catch reporting purposes in some countries.

Senaratna said the fisheries ministry was trying to improve the technology used in fishing in Sri Lanka, by progressing from using nets to long lines and also guide fishermen about fish stocks.

“Our fishermen waste time, looking at birds and floating debris to lo