IoT protects fishing fleets and global fisheries with RPMA technology

The Orolia McMurdo Omnicom Solar Fishing Beacon helps fisheries meet consumer demand for fish while maintaining healthy oceans

Orolia RPMA-based Fishing Beacon
Credit: Ingenu

The global seafood industry is over $190 billion. Millions of fishers take to the oceans each day to feed local communities and a growing global appetite for seafood.

How can the demand for fish be met while maintaining healthy oceans? A new IoT-based solution holds promise.

Background: The challenge of monitoring fishing boats

Over half of the world’s seafood is exported from developing countries. Much of the catch is from small fishing boats, which are difficult to monitor and protect. Commercial fishing in developing regions typically occurs within 30 miles from land. Establishing a communication channel that can support hundreds of fishing boats spread out over a large area is a challenge. Boats are small and lack dependable power. Devices have to be both affordable and rugged.

Random Phase Multiple Access (RPMA)

Small boats spread out over a large remote area represent a challenge for network designers. How many towers are needed and where should they be located to offer enough usable capacity. Capacity is the number of devices that can simultaneously be supported per tower or base-station.

The Orolia McMurdo Omnicom Solar Fishing Beacon uses Random Phase Multiple Access (RPMA) technology. It is optimized for wireless machine-to-machine communication. It is very spectrally efficient and moves a lot of data per Hz of bandwidth. The low-power, wide-area (LPWA) connectivity is provided by the Machine Network based on Ingenu’s RPMA technology.

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The cost of building base stations to cover a fishing area is reduced with the bandwidth needs per fishing boat. Network operators can stagger their investment by only adding RPMA towers to the network as bandwidth demand picks up.  

“The global availability of RPMA technology make this an ideal solution for fisheries from Angola to Peru,” said Ted Myers, chief technology officer at Ingenu. “With RPMA, Orolia can serve the entire market with just one device, enabling a compelling use case for vessel monitoring across the world."

ingenu Iot rpma fishing beacon Ingenu

Orolia McMurdo Omnicom Solar Fishing Beacon

The Orolia McMurdo Omnicom Solar Fishing Beacon enhances vessel safety and prevents illegal fish harvesting. Beacons communicate via RPMA services or an Iridium satellite.

They provide fishing boats with secure network connectivity and serve as a search and rescue distress device. The onboard beacon is solar powered and periodically sends out the boat’s GPS coordinates to a shore-based RPMA access point up to 31 miles away. These position reports are received by the onshore software that displays and monitors the vessel position in real time. The beacon provides two-way communication amongst boats, as well as broadcast capabilities from fishing authorities.

“We are pleased to partner with Ingenu to enhance functionality,” said Jonas N. Olsen, chief strategy officer at Orolia. “RPMA provides the Omnicom Solar Fishing Beacon with extended range and data capabilities at a significantly lower cost than existing technologies. We understand the needs of the fishing industry as the world’s leading provider of maritime management infrastructure.”

The Nature Conservancy

The Nature Conservancy, a non-profit organization, has a proven track record of partnering with fishermen and the fishing industry in collaborative projects that use science, technology and policy to advocate for access rights to fishing grounds for local fishermen. It links their fishing to markets that value sustainable products. It believes that by engaging with fishermen, seafood companies and communities it’s possible to have both a sustainable business while protecting and restoring fish habitat.

You can support the Nature Conservancy by donating here.

Sustainable fisheries mean secure livelihoods, stable seafood supplies, strong coastal communities and a healthy ocean. The Orolia RPMA-based fishing beacon is a promising solution in this quest.

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