Nov 07, 2014

Improving maritime security off east African coasts

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New software developed by the JRC is being tested in two maritime operational centres in Kenya and the Seychelles to help fight piracy and improve maritime security.

The software provides a live picture of ship traffic activity, indicating current ship positions on a digital map. By combining data from a number of different vessel reporting and Earth observation systems, it creates a single maritime picture of the entire western Indian Ocean.

This region-wide picture complements the smaller scale coastal one used by individual countries, and can be used also to combat illegal fishing or immigration. The tool furthermore allows producing maps showing past piracy events or historic ship traffic density.

Known as the Piracy, Maritime Awareness and Risks (PMAR) system, it is the result of a three-year study carried out by JRC researchers into technologies intended to build up maritime awareness for authorities in regions affected by piracy.