Radar system controls the sea

MARITIME AUTHORITIES will be able to monitor all shipping that comes near the Portuguese coast in the future, thanks to an innovative tracking network.

The government is spending 100 million euros on a new information system, known as Vessel Traffic System (VTS), which is designed to make the Portuguese coast more secure, with fewer accidents and less pollution from 2007. The VTS is an intricate network of radars and control stations, which the government says will save lives and increase drug seizures.

Composed of two command centres – a main one in Paço de Arcos and a subsidiary station in Portimão – the network will use eight coastal radar systems, as well as a network of automatic identification of boats and communications systems.