Faustino Velasco, the patron who guides the US fishing fleet.




Fishing long ago left behind the image of activity for rough men, subject to the whims of the sea and heirs to ancient arts. Now technology is one more crew member. In this activity, several Spanish companies such as
, Zunibal and Marine Instruments are world leaders in technological applications for fishing: smart buoys, satellite communications, drones, electronic monitoring systems, and so on. In this latest technology, Satlink, which Faustino Velasco founded and has chaired since 1992, has just scored a point: the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has included them as approved providers to equip the United States fishing fleet of electronic monitoring systems (or 'Electronic Monitoring') with which to collect and analyze all fishing activity through high-definition cameras and sensors.

As required by an increasingly demanding regulation. Is the first Spanish and European company to achieve it, after a long examination that has lasted more than a year. "There is American and Japanese technology everywhere, but they are very restrictive countries and certifying our system cost God and help", acknowledges the president of Satlink.

Specifically, from technology, they calculate that more than 10,000 US ships will need this system in the next ten years. A designed solution that, through artificial intelligence, allows biologists who monitor the work of
the fishermen
analyze months of recordings in a short time. "We have it installed on some 250 ships around the world, in all oceans, but it is in the Pacific where we are having the most success, among the artisanal fleets in the hands of NGOs," says Velasco. In this way, the company opens a new market and expands its presence, which it already extends to countries such as Ecuador, Fiji, Seychelles, Solomon Islands, South Korea and Taiwan; with more than 6,000 clients including governments, public bodies and other fleets such as the Spanish Opagac (Organization of Associated Producers of Large Freezer Tuna Vessels).

Far away are the origins of Satlink in 1992. «We started with satellite communications solutions for the Spanish public administration, the Royal House and, above all, the Ministry of Defence. Then we saw an opportunity for the development of location systems aimed at fishing vessels in the BOE and we proposed a solution so that they would homologate it, "says Velasco about his unexpected debut in the fishing sector. Anyway, between 1999 and 2000 Satlink installed its location systems on more than 3,000 ships, with a size greater than 24 meters in length. "I never thought that we would go so far and I am enthusiastic: there is much to contribute in the knowledge of the oceans and the improvement of fisheries management", acknowledges this businessman, who points out that the Spanish fishing fleet is "the image of how to do things and do them well.

The activity of companies such as Satlink and Zunibal already attract investment funds. Specifically, Satlink is majority owned by Ergon and Artá ​​Capital (Grupo March).

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