Global maritime surveillance and oceanic vessel traffic services: towards the e-navigation

Abstract

Vessel traffic services (VTS) operators can control the movements of ships in local coastal areas, and also have the technological ability to track vessels internationally, since all merchant vessels are currently equipped with global tracking systems. Digital information processing and satellite communications are powerful tools that the maritime sector is eager to take advantage of in relation to safety, environmental protection and efficiency. This paper reviews current regulations and infrastructures within the VTS and the main European Union (EU) projects that have utilized the potential of the digital era and satellite technology. Through assessment of future trends, it also proposes, for the first time, that there will be the need for a new approach to global maritime traffic services, in view of anticipated issues in future developments within this sector. This approach will consider the creation of an oceanic vessel traffic services, where all personnel would exchange information, without state borders, between ships and onshore centres worldwide. This also raises the issues of how a new technological paradigm will fare against ancient barriers of legislative scope.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    IMO (1997) - Resolution A.857(20).

  2. 2.

    As follows on SOLAS Chapter V: Safety of navigation, Regulation 19 Carriage requirements for shipborne navigational systems and equipment. 2.4 p. 370.

  3. 3.

    Previously known as GMES (Global Monitoring for Environment and Security), is the European Program for the establishment of a European capacity for Earth Observation and Monitoring.

  4. 4.

    This report provides a picture of the worlds merchant fleet derived from data contained in the Equasis database. Ship types are general cargo, specialized cargo, Ro-Ro, bulk carriers, oil and chemical tankers, gas and tankers, passenger ships, offshore vessels, service ships and tugs.

  5. 5.

    Described on the Navguide 2018 8th edition. IALA. Chapter 4. E-Navigation. Page 67.

  6. 6.

    Keynote address by Kitack Lim, Secretary-General of IMO at e-Navigation Underway conference on 2nd February 2016.

  7. 7.

    Although the Secretary General Kitack Lim, expressed his support: “STM goes hand in hand with IMO goals” and “I give my full personal support to STM” at the STM Validation Project Final Conference at the International Maritime Organization in London, 13–14 November 2018.

  8. 8.

    Korea was chosen to hold the 19th International Conference of the IALA in June 2018.

  9. 9.

    The Secretary-General Mr. Kitack Lim of the IMO and the Secretary-General M. Francis Zachariae of the IALA on the e-Navigation Underway International Conference under the title of “Paving the Way for a Digital Maritime World”, from 6 to 8 February 2019.

  10. 10.

    United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. Part II. The Territorial Sea and the Contiguous Zone. Section 1. General Provisions. Section 2. Territorial Sea Limits. Article 3. Width of the territorial sea and Section 3. Innocent Passage Through the Territorial Sea. Article 21. Laws and regulations of the coastal State regarding innocent passage.

  11. 11.

    Navguide 2018. 8th Edition. Chapter 2 – Concepts and accuracy of navigation. 2.3 Phases of navigation. P.13.

  12. 12.

    MSC.1/Circ.1595. Figure 1. Overarching e-navigation architecture.

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Correspondence to F. Xavier Martínez de Osés.

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Martínez de Osés, F.X., Uyà Juncadella, À. Global maritime surveillance and oceanic vessel traffic services: towards the e-navigation. WMU J Marit Affairs (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13437-020-00220-0

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Keywords

  • E-Navigation
  • Vessel traffic services
  • AIS
  • Satellite