Main concerns of Marine Protected Areas
As highlighted above, protected natural parks or areas need to maintain very precise conditions so that the ecosystem is perfectly adapted to the survival of the animals or plant life in the area. Illegal fishing can severely disrupt the eco-system.
Some natural parks are situated along coastal areas and are therefore exposed to the threat of illegal anchoring. As with fishing, the introduction of humans/animals or vehicles can disrupt the natural balance of an area. It is very important to be able to be immediately aware of illegal activity in the park so that it can be stopped as quickly as possible.
The enforcement of protected area boundaries
A major concern of natural park management is effectively protecting the area’s boundaries. Many of these parks restrict or prohibit the entry of humans, animals and/or vehicles. In this case, it can be difficult and very costly to monitor the perimeters in an effective manner.
While some areas might not be under current restriction, it might be interesting for the park to know what the traffic is (statistics) in order to adjust policy if needed.
The solutions offered by TZ Coastal Monitoring
Protection against intrusion and illegal activities
It is essential to have a system in place that allows park management to monitor intrusions or prohibited activities such as illegal fisheries or anchoring.
Connect one or multiple Radars to your TZ Coastal Monitoring so that targets can be easily identified and tracked. It is easy to set up a first type of boundary areas which will allow you to track any ARPA/AIS targets that approach the park perimeters.
A second type of boundary can be setup to guard the restricted and protected area. When a vessel enters this area, an Alarm can be triggered and the trespasser logged and tracked by the system.
When a camera is installed, it can be set to automatically track and zoom in on the target:
TZ Coastal Monitoring software can also be setup to automatically alert you by sending an email or text message. Even if no-one is physically present, it is still possible to be notified and deal with potential intruders
TZ Coastal Monitoring offers a range of powerful functions to monitor the park boundaries. Connect multiple Cameras to the system so that you can view the perimeter in real time
The optional Record and Replay module can be used to record all the traffic in the area (Radar, Targets and Camera). This can be used to identified offender thanks to the camera, but also to establish statistics and monitor the density of traffic in specific areas.
Installation Diagram example
The diagram (Fig.1) illustrates an example of a coastal monitoring installation in a small area like a bay, lake or river:
One Camera (visible or thermal camera)
One AIS receiver used to receive the position from vessels that have an AIS transmitter
One computer that is used by the local operator to monitor activities
Natural Parks - Fig.1
The diagram (Fig.2) illustrates an example with multiple radars that are used to cover a bigger area (an island for example):
Each station is setup with one Radar and one AIS receiver (up to 6 stations with 6 radars)
The stations are all networked together and to the Supervision Center using an Internet connection. A private network (such as Wireless Access Point) could also be used
The Supervision Center can view and control all the Radars and all targets are merged on one screen
Multiple cameras (up to 12 total) can be added to the various stations if needed
Natural Parks - Fig.2
TZ Coastal Monitoring offers the best combination of features and usability for the protection and preservation of natural parks.
Depending on the level of protection required, a natural park (or protected area) usually falls into one of the following categories:
Category IA nature reserves can be also known as nature preserves, bio-reserves, or just preserves. These areas are dedicated to protecting biodiversity, and sometimes geological features. Scientific research is often carried out in these locations, and human visitation may be strictly controlled, meaning that the area must be closely monitored.
Category IB includes wilderness areas that are protected and usually unmodified or only slightly modified in order to retain their natural features. The purpose of these areas is to give current and future generations the chance to experience a truly natural environment. Sometimes indigenous communities live in this type of habitat and their culture and way of life is therefore protected.
Category II national parks include large natural areas that aim to protect large-scale ecological processes. These areas are often used to preserve the natural ecosystem and the species that live there. They can be used to promote education and recreation.
Category III includes protected natural monuments or features. These can range from landforms to submarine caverns, caves or ancient groves. These areas are often quite small in size and can be popular destinations for visitors. These monuments and features must be preserved and therefore require monitoring to achieve this.
Category IV is a habitat/species management area. This is an area that is dedicated to the protection of certain species and their habitats. These areas must be very closely monitored in order to make sure that the environment is perfectly adapted to the species living there. TZ Coastal Monitoring provides the tools needed to monitor the area.
Category V protected landscape/seascape. This is an area where humans have interacted with nature leading to the development of an area of distinct character. This is a zone which is often of substantial ecological, biological or cultural importance. It may also be extremely scenic. It is important to monitor these areas in order to protect and sustain their natural features.
Category VI protected areas with the sustainable use of natural resources. These areas are usually large and mostly in a natural condition. A part of the region is often under human management with the aim of protecting and developing the natural ecosystem. As with the other types of natural parks mentioned above, Category VI areas often benefit from surveillance in order to prevent any contamination or harmful activity from occurring.