Indonesia’s Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Sakti Wahyu Trenggono is interested in the services of the Norwegian company Kongsberg Satellite Service (KSAT). In a news released by the official Indonesian news agency, ANTARA, the minister points to KSAT’s capacity and experience in earth observation satellite, development of hardware and software for maritime surveillance, as well as ship detection, to monitor illegal activities at sea.
He explained that the satellite technology capability that KSAT has can be used in various maritime and fisheries sub-sectors. Not only can they detect ships carrying out illegal activities, but they can also provide environmental surveillance services to be able to analyze data of early warning on marine pollution threats.
Harald Aaro, Executive Vice President for Space & Surveillance for Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace, who received the Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Sakti Wahyu Trenggono, explained according to ANTARA that at least 21 countries already receives KSAT’s services in the maritime and fisheries sector.
The KSAT Vessel Detection Service is designed to find ships and boats that are engaged in illegal activity, harm the environment and make the seas unsafe.
Piracy and armed robbery at sea. Pollution and toxic waste dumping. Human trafficking. Illicit trades in arms, drugs, and contraband. Illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing. The link between these various crimes happening at sea, every day, is that they are effectively hiding their activities, making it difficult for law enforcement to intervene: They avoid using AIS, they operate in the twilight hours or complete darkness, they take advantage of the camouflage offered by cloud and haze, they can sail hundreds of nautical miles and avoids common fairways.
The KSAT Vessel detection service is designed to find these vessels. The service delivers timely and unbiased information derived from satellites through 24/7 operations. Vessel detection allows for rapid decision-making cycles so KTAS customers can act on suspicious behaviours and quickly target scarce law-enforcement resources.
Besides, satellites are not affected by weather conditions. Marine satellite-based surveillance is a cost-effective method to regularly keep an eye out for those vessels that are trying to hide.
Indonesia’s Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries have launched five blue economy programs that would highly benefit from this and other of the specialised services offered by KSAT. The Indonesian blue economy programs including the expansion of marine conservation areas, the implementation of a measured fishing policy, and the sustainable development of aquaculture.
They also include monitoring and controlling the use of coasts and small islands, as well as marine plastic waste handling with fishers’ participation.
Those five programs are implemented to ensure ecological sustainability as well as encourage economic growth in the community and increase state income.
Next year, the Norwegian government-owned company Space Norway will launch a radar satellite named MicroSAR, planned to be the first of a larger constellation, which will greatly enhance KSAT’s capabilities in providing even more detailed imaging and other services.