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Business & Economy

Succorfish sails away with Norwegian Government accreditation

A North East technology business is sailing into Scandinavian waters after winning Norwegian Government approval for its maritime tracking device.

Succorfish’s SC2 Gen 2 iVMS system has been approved for use as an electronic reporting system on Norway’s 550-strong fleet of fishing boats that are more than 15 metres in length.

The North Tyneside-headquartered firm worked in partnership with Norwegian software developer Bytek Nordic to adapt the SC2 Gen 2 system to the country’s specific offshore requirements, which include being able to pinpoint the precise location of vessels over a distance of more than 2200 kilometres.

After Succorfish and Bytek completed several months of joint development work, a detailed, two-month long test was carried out in two different parts of Norwegian waters to ensure the system lived up to expectations.

It has now won Government approval for use anywhere in its fishing waters, which stretch from Kristiansand at Norway’s southern tip right up to Svalbard inside the Arctic Circle, as well as in UK, EU and other international waters.

And with new regulations set to be introduced in Norway later this year which will require vessels between 11 metres and 15 metres in length to carry the same technology, Succorfish is expecting to further expand its presence in the country’s fishing industry.

SC2 Gen 2 iVMS system provides an easy-to-use, cloud-based monitoring platform that is accessible from tablets, desktop computers or a smart phone app via satellite and Bluetooth.

It gives boat crew accurate guidance on whether their vessels are in an area in which they’re permitted to fish, and also provides the fishing authorities with real time data on whether vessels should or shouldn’t be in particular areas, enabling appropriate action to be taken against any that are potentially fishing unlawfully in restricted conservation zones.

Customers also receive free cloud-based monitoring software delivered by the Succorfish Enterprise grade, SAAS platform which enables them to historically see all fishing tracking data.

Late last year, Succorfish became one of just four firms to successfully complete the Marine Management Organisation’s extensive approvals process for the use of the iVMS system within the UK’s coastal waters.

Founded in 2008, the business has a 20-strong in-house design, software engineering, development and customer service team which manages all aspects of clients’ technology requirements, with all its hardware being designed and manufactured in North Shields.

Chad Hooper, managing director at Succorfish, said: “The SC2 is already being used successfully in fishing waters around the world and this latest accreditation opens up important new markets which will help us further extend its use.

“This type of monitoring equipment has never been more crucial to the fishing industry, whether from an environmental, conservation or regulatory point of view, and the adapted SC2 system comprehensively fulfils all the Norwegian government’s requirements for its coastal waters.

“It is proven, mature technology that offers the usability, reliability and technical specifications that fishing vessel operators need, is easy to transport and install, and gathers all the real time information that users both on the water and onshore need to fully document what is happening offshore.

“Working with Bytek has helped to open up some significant new opportunities for us and we’re expecting to be able to build on them later in the year as new regulations increase the number of Norwegian vessels that need this type of electronic reporting system.”

Dagfinn Lønning, managing director at Bytek Nordic AS, added: “We identified Succorfish as having the high-quality, cost-effective
transponder technology that we needed as the platform for our software, and we have combined our expertise to create a very powerful customer offering.

“The specific requirements of this tender required adaptations to be carried out on both sides, but the successful tests that we then undertook showed this device was able to deliver the required performance, a fact that has been borne out by the approval given to it by our government.”