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Offshore IP video surveillance deters poachers

Published on 20 March, 2007

IndigoVision's IP Video technology is at the heart of an innovative wireless CCTV system that's providing both security and operational benefits for an offshore fish farm.

Acuicola Marina is one of the leading producers of farmed fish in the Spanish Province of Castellon on the Mediterranean coast.  Their offices and warehouse are located at Burriana, 3 km inland, with the fish farm facilities sited 10 km offshore.

The valuable fish stock is a target for poachers and Acuicola Marina has always found it difficult to police the offshore facilities.  Offshore patrols were partly successful but proved too costly and so it was decided that a CCTV monitoring system was required.  This would provide the necessary security as well as a number of other monitoring functions that could benefit the business, for example submersible cameras monitoring fish growth.

IndigoVision's complete end-to-end IP Video system was chosen to provide the real time video and alarm management facilities required of the system.  The overall solution was designed and installed by IndigoVision's local approved integrator, Ralco Networks.

The system is managed by IndigoVision's ‘Control Center' software and recording is achieved using IndigoVision's Networked Video Recorders (NVRs), which are installed on the network at the on-shore offices.  Several operators use ‘Control Center' workstations to view both live and recorded video from any of the offshore cameras.  ‘Control Center' provides advanced search and video analysis tools that the operators use to identify security breaches and to monitor fish growth which helps determine the correct distribution of food.

‘Control Center' also handles alarm and event data such as equipment malfunctions and power system monitoring, all of which is transmitted over the network.

Commenting on the project, José Soriano Reyes, Ralco Network's Project Manager, said:  "IndigoVision's system was chosen because of the flexibility of their ‘Control Center' software, the NVR recording structure that allows the recorders to be sited on-shore and the excellent MPEG-4 compression that ensures high-quality video can be transmitted across the limited bandwidth available on the wireless network."

A wireless network infrastructure was developed, consisting of a local Wi-Fi network covering the offshore facilities with a 7 Mbps WiMAX radio link back to the on-shore offices, 13km away.  Day/night weatherproof dome cameras were mounted on the fish pools as well as onboard the production boat and a submersible camera was installed to monitor the fish stock underwater.  Each of the cameras is connected to an IndigoVision 8000 transmitter module, which encodes the analogue feed to high-quality MPEG-4 digital video for transmission over the wireless network.

All of the offshore equipment is powered by specially designed standalone solar powered/battery power packs.  A VPN router was also installed to allow access to the video feeds over the internet.

As well as improved security the new CCTV system has provided Acuicola Marina with a number of other benefits.  Their production has increased, partly because of the deterrence to poachers and partly from the operational improvements that offshore monitoring has provided.  The wireless network not only allows transmission of video and data but also two-way audio, which is being used to provide voice communications between the offices and the offshore facilities.  In the near future Acuicola Marina plans to expand the fish farm with the addition of extra fish pools and additional facilities.  As IP Video is a very scalable solution, adding additional monitoring will be easy and very cost effective.

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