Ministry of Defence to Host Vessel Monitoring Systems Academy

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New Centres provide skills development for Monitoring Control and Surveillance personnel

The centres will provide Port States, Coast Guards and Regional Fishery Management Organisations (RFMOs) with a common training programme, common information on the latest technical, legal and management developments and will enable key stakeholders to share their experiences and knowledge.

Plans for a new package of Professional and Technical Training for Vessel Monitoring Systems (VMS) professionals were unveiled today.

A consortium headed by Carpe Diem Ltd, based at Cranfield University's technology park in England, has developed the new proposals which are aimed at supplimenting existing in-house Vessel Monitoring Systems skills programmes.

Two training centres have been announced, one based at The Australian National Centre for Ocean Resources and Security, University of Wollongong, Australia and the other at the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) training establishment at Shrivenham. Both will offer services under Carpe Diem's VMSAcademy umbrella.

Outlining his vision for Professional and Technical Training Provision, Douglas Watson, Group Director of Carpe Diem Ltd said: "The centres will provide Port States, Coast Guards and Regional Fishery Management Organisations (RFMOs) with a common training programme, common information on the latest technical, legal and management developments and will enable key stakeholders to share their experiences and knowledge."

With a well documented decline in in-house expert knowledge in this sector, many observers have noted that Governments increasingly have to contract with multiple vendors and consultants in order to get a complete picture of Vessel Monitoring Systems technology, current legislation, and supplimentary technologies. The new centres are a collabortive effort, with a wide cross section of the industry contributing to the courses.

The choice of The Australian National Centre for Ocean Resources and Security (ANCORS), based at the University of Wollongong, was key for the concept. ANCORS is well established in fisheries law, regulation and security research and its head, Professor Martin Tsamenyi welcomed the initiative. "Hosting the VMSAcademy will suppliment the work that ANCORS has conducted over the past years. Our site is ideally placed to offer services for Australia, China, Japan and the Pacific Islands region", said the Professor.

"We liked the idea of a skills provision that was directly supported by the main suppliers of these systems. It means we're technology agnostic and Governments can send their employees without fearing we will be supporting one solution over another. Additionally, our 'live' demonstration suite will be fitted with the latest hardware and software, so the VMSAcademy is capable of providing a number of educational and industrial services, including homologation", concluded the Professor.

The main suppliers of VMS technology have signed up to the project, including Absolute Software, Inmarsat, ARGOS, Iridium, JRC, Thrane and the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations has also welcomed the initiative. "Skills building and capacity development are areas that the FAO are keen to see developed and so this initiative is welcomed.' Said Michele Kuruc of the FAO.

The second centre will be located at the Joint Services Command and Staff College (JSCSC), a component of the Defence Academy of the UK. The JSCSC provides world class Command and Staff education and training, in order to enhance Operational Capability, thereby advancing the Defence and Security interests of the United Kingdom. The location of the VMSAcademy at the Defence Academy will have significant benefits for both those attending the first course in September 2008 and other interested parties in the defence sector.

A third centre is due to be unveilled in the Middle East this year.

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douglas watson
Carpe Diem Ltd
+44 (0) 1234 756016
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Douglas Watson
Carpe Diem Ltd
+44 (0) 1234 756016
Email >
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