The Kiribati Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources Development’s (MFMRD) has selected Spanish engineering company Satlink, which specialises in sustainable fishing systems, to assist in modernising its Fisheries Management Platform.

Kiribati has one of the largest Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ) in the world, with about 15% of the world’s tropical tuna is caught in its waters. Commercial fishing is one of the most important economic activities for the country.

Satlink’s technical team will assist in integrating and digitising all information related to the activity of the domestic and foreign fishing fleets that operate in Kiribati’s waters. The initial steps will integrate existing vessel monitoring systems (VMS) and electronic reporting system (ERS) information into a Control Center server that is accessed by authorised fishery personnel.

The first phase of the project involves helping the ministry manage their tropical tuna fishery, the main resource in their EEZ.

It is anticipated that the new system will be operational in 2019 and is essential to improving and streamlining the management of this most important fishery.

The initiative will allow the Kiribati Fisheries Administration to evolve to a system with advanced management capabilities and enable them to exploit the available information and improve the management of their fishing resources.

This new system will also make it easier for the Government of Kiribati to administer and manage fishing licenses, offering more efficient control of them and the fishing activity.

The project will contain different phases for its deployment, incorporating new functionalities tailored to the needs of the MFMRD. In addition to tuna, this includes management module options for other types of fisheries. Among other features, it is planned to include electronic monitoring systems (EM) to further improve fishing traceability and sustainability for the country.