Installing and operating vessel tracking units

Installation and maintenance

You must comply with the vessel tracking installation and maintenance standard when configuring, installing and maintaining vessel tracking equipment.

Find out more about the safety requirements for vessel tracking units and installation, and work health and safety responsibilities.

Note: Authority holders are encouraged to have vessel tracking units installed by a qualified technician. Installation rebates are available to authority holders via the Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority.

Activate your unit

To ensure you are able to receive confirmation that your vessel tracking unit is sending your position (polling), you need to:

  • activate the unit with your unit provider
  • register the unit in FishNet Secure
  • assign the unit to your primary commercial fishing licence in FishNet Secure.

If you have previously registered a unit that is no longer required (i.e. not being used any more or no longer working) you need to 'unassign' it in FishNet Secure.

Confirm your unit is polling before you go fishing

As the primary commercial fishing licence holder or the person in control of a boat used under the licence, it is your responsibility to make sure you have a vessel tracking unit installed and working on your boat.

You must confirm that your vessel tracking unit is polling before you go fishing – you cannot start a fishing trip if your unit is not working.

Before you go fishing, make sure the unit is connected to a reliable external power source, is powered on and has a clear view of the sky.

Make sure you have one of the following confirmation notifications:

  1. an SMS notification via the Automated Integrated Voice Response (AIVR) system
  2. an automatic SMS notification
  3. evidence that your unit is working from your provider's online tracking platform (showing your boat's position).

Phone the AIVR system on (07) 3017 0083 to check if your vessel tracking unit is polling. Follow the prompts and at the end of the call you can request to have the confirmation sent to a mobile phone number via SMS. This service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

If you get a message that your unit is 'tentatively working', your unit is either not polling at the required rate or has had insufficient polls to confirm that it is operating correctly.

Note: Before you call, you need to know your primary commercial fishing licence number and your personal identification number (PIN). To obtain or change your PIN, log in to your FishNet Secure account.

If your unit sends positions constantly, a daily SMS will be sent to you at approximately 7am. If you power up your unit later in the day, an SMS will be sent to you once regular positions are received (it may take 10–20 minutes to receive the SMS).

The SMS will be sent to the mobile number nominated in 'My Boat Contact' in FishNet Secure. If no mobile number is nominated, the SMS will be sent to the current authority holder of the primary commercial fishing licence.

If you do not receive an SMS, your unit may not be operating correctly. Ensure the unit is powered on and has a clear view of the sky.

Visit your unit provider's website and log in to their online tracking platform to view your positions. You may take a photo or screen shot that includes relevant details (e.g. date and time) to show the unit is polling. For more information about accessing this online tracking platform, contact your unit provider.

Report your position manually if your unit malfunctions at sea

If a vessel tracking unit on the primary boat malfunctions during a trip, the person in control of the operation must manually report the position of the primary boat (as degrees and minutes) by phoning the AIVR system on (07) 3017 0083 or the vessel tracking hotline on (07) 3211 9111:

  • every hour, while fishing or steaming, if the boat is being used in the east coast trawl fishery
  • every 4 hours, while fishing or steaming, for all other fisheries.

Note: Before you call, you need to know your primary commercial fishing licence number and your personal identification number (PIN). To obtain or change your PIN, log in to your FishNet Secure account.

The following requirements also apply:

  • The person in control of the operation must also make sure the boat travels to a port area within 5 days from the day the malfunction is identified. If you cannot return to port within 5 days, you must apply for an extension of time to travel to a port and provide a valid reason as to why you can't meet the 5-day requirement – phone 13 25 23 during business hours or email vesseltracking@daf.qld.gov.au.
  • For trawl operators in the M1, T1 or T2 fisheries within the major scallop area, the person in control of the operation must make sure the boat travels to a landing place as soon as practicable.
  • If a vessel tracking unit on a tender boat malfunctions during a trip, the tender boat must remain attached to the primary boat and must not be used to take any fish for the remainder of the trip.

If a vessel tracking unit starts operating again on a primary or tender boat, and the person in control of the operation receives a confirmation that the unit is working properly, normal fishing operations may resume. If the unit is on a primary boat, the requirement to return to port no longer applies.

You can carry a spare unit as a back-up if another unit fails. Be aware that you may need to allow some time for the spare unit to be activated by the unit provider. Talk to your unit provider about the option of adding the spare unit to your existing polling account in case your primary unit fails.

Transferring units

Vessel tracking units may be moved between primary and tender boats, as well as primary commercial fishing licences or charter fishing licences held by the same licence holder.

Units cannot be moved between licences held by different licence holders unless approved by Fisheries Queensland – a request can be submitted in writing to vesseltracking@daf.qld.gov.au or phone 13 25 23 during business hours.

The licence holder must register all unit movements in FishNet Secure at the time the unit is moved and prior to fishing.

Also consider...

  • Log in to FishNet Secure to register your vessel tracking unit, update your boat communication notice and manage your quota (including transfers) and trawl exceptions related to quota deductions.
  • Refer to relevant fisheries legislation – the Fisheries Act 1994, Fisheries (General) Regulation 2019 and Fisheries (Commercial Fisheries) Regulation 2019 – for all vessel tracking requirements.

Contact

General enquiries 13 25 23