The European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) has developed a new piracy, maritime awareness and risks (PMAR) system, which is being tested in two maritime operational centres in Kenya and the Seychelles.
The new system is capable of providing a live image of ship traffic activity with current ship positions on a digital map.
Using data from different reporting vessels and earth observation systems, the PMAR system will be able to develop a single maritime picture of the entire western Indian Ocean.
This picture will complement the smaller scale coastal one used by the countries and help identify illegal fishing and immigration, JRC stated.
The PMAR will be also capable of creating maps that give information about past piracy events or historic ship traffic density. It is the result of a three-year study carried out by JRC researchers following a request from the European Parliament.
The trial of the PMAR system has been financed through the 10th European Development Fund under the EU’s programme to promote regional maritime security (MASE) in eastern and southern Africa.
Being researched as part of the EU Maritime Security Strategy, the new technology is expected to help respond to threats and risks in the global maritime domain.
The present project is aligned with the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) Djibouti code of conduct concerning the repression of piracy, and complements other EU and international initiatives on capacity building in the region.
Image: The PMAR system provides a single maritime picture showing ship traffic activity and indicating current ship positions. Photo: © EU, 2012.