In recent years, the protection of natural areas and wildlife has become a priority for many governments and organizations worldwide. As part of this movement, the WWF has taken a leading role, developing innovative solutions and raising awareness about these crucial issues. A fantastic example of its work is the project to preserve the maritime area surrounding the Galapagos Islands, off the coast of Ecuador. In this case, the WWF jointed efforts with the local authorities to protect this unique natural space.
A project of this type required a system to monitor all traffic within a delimited area. Our TZ Coastal Monitoring software technology covered this need and additionally offered other features such as the Record and Replay module, alarms, and video recording capabilities that made our proposal the best possible one.
Naturally, in the TIMEZERO team, we were thrilled to have the opportunity to work on this project. Shoulder to shoulder with an outstanding organization like the WWF and the special objective to protect a beautiful and unique area such as the Galapagos Islands.
In this article, we will explain the main objectives the WWF and local authorities had set, the solution TIMEZERO offered, and the equipment used.
Objectives of the project
The authorities set the following four objectives. By accomplishing these, they aimed to preserve this unique ecosystem and its development in the long term.
Prevent illegal fishing: protected areas need to maintain precise conditions to ensure the ecosystem’s equilibrium and the survival of the animals and flora that are part of it. Illegal fishing can severely disrupt this equilibrium and put at risk this valuable source of natural diversity.
Prevent illegal anchoring: some natural parks are situated near coastal areas and exposed to the threat of illegal anchoring. As with fishing, exposure to humans, animals, or vehicles can disrupt the area’s natural equilibrium. For this reason, It is essential to be able to identify illegal activity so that it can be stopped immediately.
Enforce boundaries: a significant concern for the local authorities is to protect the area’s borders effectively. Many of these parks restrict or prohibit the entry of humans, animals, and vehicles. In extensive areas like this, it is difficult and very costly to monitor the perimeters manually.
Monitor traffic: while some areas might not have traffic restrictions, it might be interesting for the authorities to monitor the movements to adjust policy if needed.
The solution offered by TZ Coastal Monitoring
For this project, the authorities needed a system that could centralize a delimited area’s traffic information. To accomplish this, our team offered a solution in which multiple radars, placed in strategic points (Puerto Ayora, Puerto Baquerizo Moreno y Puerto Villamil) were connected to the TZ Coastal Monitoring software, thus allowing to gather and monitor all the traffic information in one place.
Moreover, by setting up specific areas, it was also possible to track ARPA/AIS targets automatically. Therefore, whenever an object entered the delimited area, an Alarm would be triggered, the trespasser identified and tracked by the system. Moreover, by adding a camera to the installation, the target would also be automatically followed and tracked by video.
This system was also set up to alert the authorities via email and text message automatically. Thus, even if no-one is physically present at the control center, they would be notified and aware of potential intruders.
Lastly, the TIMEZERO team also installed the Record and Replay module. This module records all the traffic in the area (Radar, Targets, and Camera). Then, the authorities can review old activity, identify offenders, or simply evaluate traffic information whenever necessary.
Finally, let us take a closer look to the equipment used for this project.
Radar: Furuno DRS25A. This is a maritime X-Band radar outputting 25kw through a 6ft antenna. The radar is operating in Dual Range mode and directly connected to the TZ Coastal Monitoring.
AIS: Furuno AIS Receiver FA30. Any boat in range equipped with an AIS transmitter will be detected, and its information send to the TZ Coastal Monitoring via the Ethernet network. AIS repeaters installed in various location of the islands allows extended coverage.
Camera: AXIS Q6035-E Pan Tilt Zoom (PTZ) Camera. These cameras are high resolution capable of zooming up to 20 times on any target. The camera can be controlled through the TZ Coastal Monitoring Software or the dedicated AXIS Joystick.
PTZ Camera follows an ARPA/AIS target detected on the TZ Coastal Monitoring
For more information about TZ Coastal Monitoring, visit our website or contact us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org