New system for monitoring shipping

A new system for the surveillance of shipping (AIS) is under construction, and will be operational from January 1st 2005.

A new system for the surveillance of shipping (AIS) is under construction, and will be operational from January 1st 2005.

From that date the Coastal Directorate will be able to monitor all shipping along the Norwegian coast.

From that date the UN Maritime Organization requires all larger vessels in international traffic to install the AIS system.

The ships' movements will be stored in a data base, and the exact sailing path may be reconstructed from the stored data.

The new system will be able to prevent many shipping accidents, such as direct collicions, but might not have prevented the grounding and capsizing of the bulk carrier "Rocknes" two weeks ago, experts say.

However, it could have been used to assist in the investigations into the accident.

The system operates on GPS and has an accuracy of within 10 to 15 metres.