The Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) is reminding Commonwealth operators that VMS units are to remain switched on at all times, including during the Christmas and New Year period.
Any vessel with its VMS system switched off, where the operator has not notified AFMA, may be required to return to, or remain in port, until such time that AFMA can conduct an investigation and the issue is resolved.
AFMA understands that VMS units may need to be switched off for a range of reasons including placing the boat on the slip for maintenance or tying it up for a break. AFMA’s Temporary Switch Off arrangements cater for these circumstances and it is the operator’s responsibility to submit a Temporary Switch Off (TSO) application to ausvms [at] afma.gov.au () prior to the VMS unit being switched off.
Vessel Monitoring Systems (VMS) help AFMA monitor the position, course and speed of Commonwealth fishing vessels and is a key tool in ensuring compliance with the fisheries management arrangements.
Find more information on VMS requirements on the AFMA website.