Supporting Vessel Monitoring System Regulations


Increasingly, industry bodies and government are enforcing the requirement of Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) devices to be installed on fleets of vessels, across the globe. These devices are key to improving the management and sustainability of our marine environment. As such, many fisheries are adopting the latest technology to best support themselves and the livelihoods of fishers more generally.


Ground Control in Partnership with Pivotel

Ground Control has been working successfully in partnership with leading remote communication provider Pivotel to support the RockFLEET devices deployed with Queensland and New Zealand fishers. Over 700 RockFLEET units have been installed on Queensland and New Zealand fishing boats.

Our collaboration resulted in an expansion of the RockFLEET capabilities to support SOS alarms, scheduled check-ins, remote messaging, and catch-reporting via Bluetooth apps. RockFLEET can also slow down automatically when in port.

Currently, there’s a focus on ensuring the device maintains effective tracking for all Queensland and New Zealand vessels. Leveraging Pivotel’s online tracking portal, Tracertrak, the RockFLEET device provides real-time and historical location information to the license holder.

Fishing boat in dock

“The RockFLEET device is a high-quality product that’s proven easy to install and operate, but still offers the sophisticated data and coverage that the Queensland fishing industry requires.”

Peter Bolger, CEO

Pivotel logo

Fishing boat on body of water with sunset in background

The Challenge

Under the terms of the scheme in Queensland, all commercial fishing and charter boats required a vessel tracking device to be fitted and operational by the end of 2020. Meanwhile, trawl, net, crab and line boats required VMS tracking to comply with regulation that came into effect in early 2019.

This is becoming a reality for many fishing industries around the world and the products used need to be reliable, robust, and connected, wherever the boat may be.

The Solution

The RockFLEET’s proven reliability ensures skippers can always meet tracking requirements under their scheme.

The comparatively low initial hardware outlay and ongoing airtime costs makes the RockFLEET a competitively priced VMS solution. Its compact and lightweight design makes it easy and simple to install.

The global two-way communication ability, low cost of ownership, and reliability of the Iridium network gives clear advantages for VMS.


  • Truly global two-way coverage
  • All-in-one small unit and easy installation
  • Bluetooth API with iOS/Android libraries
  • Automatic transmission rate changes
  • Proven maritime build quality and longevity
  • Lifetime phone and email support
  • Full API support for third-party mapping portals.

Built with Ground Control

The work we support genuinely inspires us, and we're proud to create solutions and solve customer problems like no one else can.

If you'd like to get in touch with the team either to discuss a challenge similar to that of the one above, or something completely different our team of experts will be happy to provide objective advice.