South Africa experiments with ship tracking system to tackle crime on seas

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South African Oceans and Coastal Information Management System (OCIMS) has launched a ship tracking system to detect criminal activities, such as illegal fishing or smuggling in the sea.

The test version of the Integrated Vessel Tracking Decision Support Tool lauched on 7 November combines data from satellites, vessel transponders and radar for the monitoring.

While such systems already exist in th United States, Australia and India, its development by South Africa assumes importance as the country is located at the tri-junction of Atlantic, Indian and Southern oceans and a hot bed for maritime crime-fighting.

While it uses data from automated identification system (AIS) trackers that ships of size above particular size are required to carry, the country plans to launch own nano satellites with the tracking capability next year rather than buying it from third party, as it does right now.

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