Inmarsat reinforces commitment to maritime safety at Our Ocean 2018

31 October 2018: Pat McDougal, advisor to Inmarsat’s CEO and former Inmarsat Chief Strategy Officer, addressed the Our Ocean conference in Bali to reconfirm Inmarsat’s global commitment to maritime safety and to reducing the digital divide at sea.

He joined dignitaries including Christian Leffler, Deputy Secretary General, European Union; Carrie Thompson, USAID, USA; and Hery Yusamandra, from the Misool Foundation to make the pledge at the annual conference focused on taking actions to maintain the sustainability of our oceans.

Pat McDougal, advisor to Inmarsat’s CEO, fourth from left, joins dignitaries on stage to make Inmarsat’s commitment to maritime safety

Hosted by the Government of the Republic of Indonesia this year, Our Ocean gathers representatives from countries around the world, including governments, commercial sectors, scientific communities, civil society organisations and young leaders to influence concrete and actionable commitments to preserve the oceans’ health. The 2018 priorities include:

  • Combatting maritime crimes
  • Promoting maritime safety and security
  • Innovations in surveillance and monitoring
  • Sharing-mechanisms to improve maritime safety

Maritime safety

In his address, Pat McDougal highlighted Inmarsat’s rich heritage in maritime safety, having been established in 1979 by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) with the sole remit of helping to save lives at sea through the provision of satellite communication services.

“Today, our commitment to safety services at sea remains a legal obligation and core corporate strategy. Over 200,000 vessels rely on Inmarsat’s unrivalled end-to-end service availability and our singular focus on very high reliability and security as well as an insistence on global coverage has contributed immensely to a safer and more secure environment at sea,” he said.

Pat went on to outline the Our Ocean targets that Inmarsat contributes to, including the improvement of vessel monitoring system (VMS) technology for tracking and regulatory enforcement in the fishery industry, and the work Inmarsat is undertaking with the IMO to modernise the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMSS).

Digital divide

In addition, he included examples of initiatives Inmarsat is leading to bridge the digital divide and make available basic access to voice and data connectivity at sea.

In Thailand, Inmarsat’s work with Thai Union and Mars Petcare capitalises on modern technological advances to promote sustainability and boost human rights in the fishing and seafood industry.

Using the Fleet One satellite service, the programme not only tracks end-to-end traceability and supply chain management for sustainable fishing, but it also provides an important advance in human rights for the fisherman, enhancing worker voice at sea.

Fisher welfare

Through the UK Space Agency International Partnership Programme (IPP), Inmarsat has joined forces with the Indonesian Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries (KKP) to promote inclusive and sustainable fishing practices and fisher welfare in the country.

Indonesian fisher connected at sea through our IPP project

The IPP is a £152 million initiative funded by the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) to partner the UK’s space expertise with developing and emerging countries to deliver sustainable economic or societal benefits.

“An active trial of VMS onboard more than 200 small vessels has now run for 12 months in Indonesia. Results are extremely positive demonstrating that lives can be saved, costs of fishing can be reduced whilst meeting the fishery regulation and safety standards of the Indonesian government, including the reduction of IUU,” Pat concluded.

Delegates to Our Ocean were able to find out more information about these successful activations, the satellite technology behind them and hear about lessons learned by meeting the team, including members from PT Hatfield Indonesia and local Service Providers, at Inmarsat’s booth.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, the UK Minister of State for the Commonwealth and the UN, visits the Inmarsat booth at Our Ocean

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