New maritime security system

news: New maritime security system

THE MINISTRY for National Defence and Sea Affairs is to introduce a new maritime traffic observation system on the Portuguese coast, in a bid to clamp down on drug smuggling and illegal immigration activities. The radars will be installed in Portimão and Faro, as well as in the ports of Viana do Castelo, Aveiro and Figueira da Foz.

The Vessel Traffic System (VTS), recently announced by the Secretary of State for Sea Affairs, will allow the Portuguese coast to be monitored within a radius of 92km. The main advantages of this system are the improvement of sea traffic management and maritime security in Portuguese waters, plus the ability to convey essential information to carry out rescue operations and antipollution manoeuvres.

The system will also increase the level of environmental protection along the Portuguese coastline, as it monitors possible situations that could result in pollution and reduces the likelihood of collisions between vessels. The VTS will also help the Brigada Fiscal da GNR, the PJ and the SEF in their fight against illegal immigration and drug smuggling.

The VTS will cost 95,000 euros, of which 50,000 euros is being provided by European Union funding. Installation will begin next year and the system is expected to be fully operational by 2007.