For the last two years, Spain’s Albacora Group has been testing the marine satellite services system, the Fleetbroadband, on one of it’s tuna boats. Due to the success of these tests, the company has now spread this satellite technology across their entire fleet of vessels as they have come to realize how vital a role dependable communications plays at sea.
The captain and crew can now stay in touch with their families through email, facebook and skype via the marine satellite services system. Having a dependable satellite link makes all the difference in the world…it’s like having a floating office on the water. Albacora had been using the Fleet 77 and upgraded to an Inmarsat Fleetbroadband 250 terminal with potential broadband satellite data speeds up to 284Kbps. By the end of the year, Albacora will have 2 marine satellite services terminals on board each of it’s tuna boats, supply ships and refrigerated vessels.
The three main types of data communications via the marine satellite services terminal are oceanographic data, emails and the information specific to fishing. Albacora’s electronics department manager Ruben Mugira explains that Albacora’s boats fish in tropical waters for tuna and that fleetbroadband has broadened their scope of communications coverage.
As far as the administrative side of things, Ruben added that producing daily fishing reports (for the EU) has been seamless due to the presence of satellite internet onboard. The more information a captain has access to, the better the decsions being made. For instance, the vessels are able to view sea temperature, currents and winds for the best indication of where the fish are.