Why Marine VHF Radios Are Important for The Aquaculture Sector

Why Marine VHF Radios Are Important for The Aquaculture Sector

Aquaculture is the farming of fish, shellfish, crustaceans, seaweeds or algae offshore in a managed environment. In Scotland, aquaculture is a massive part of the country’s economy with hundreds of aquaculture sites scattered across the western shore. With the ever-changing weather, being outdoors all the time tending to the pens and fish on the water and surrounding areas makes this job a hard task and a safety risk. Therefore, radio communication between staff outside and in the main office is a valuable safety tool.

Mainly situated in Lochs or off the coast of smaller islands, fish farming pens are placed out away from the coast hosting fish, such as Atlantic salmon in Scottish aquaculture, which are then attended to by the staff of the farm. They could have walkways leading out to the water or may have RIBS to take them out on the water. Facing torrential rain, gale force winds and notorious freezing temperatures, the owners of the farm must keep their staff safe and ensure they are in contact with them whenever they head outside and on the water. The communication equipment must be tough, able to endure the cold temperatures, wet weather and if they are dropped in the water, reliable enough so they do not sink or get damaged from exposure to the water.

Icom’s Marine VHF radio communications are a great solution and safety tool. The IC-M37E VHF Marine Radio is a waterproof handheld which offers staff patrolling an aquaculture site or wading through water a safe and rugged handheld. With an inbuilt noise cancelling microphone reducing ambient noise during transmission, the IC-M37E is also buoyant so if you do happen to drop it into the water you can retrieve it. Featuring large buttons and a slim design with a loud powerful speaker, this handheld would be an ideal solution for those operatives working in the aquaculture industry.

For those who need on board communications, such as on a RIB, Icom offer the IC-M510E VHF/DSC Mounted radio which also has the capability for smartphone control. The IC-M510E is robust enough for the demands of the commercial fishing sector and is almost half the depth of its predecessor, the IC-M506E. The 3.5-inch LCD colour display provides a wide viewing angle for improved readability, even in low light and also features a night mode for improved viewing at night. The IC-M510 is also rated IP68 to withstand 1m (3.2ft) water depth for 60 minutes. This radio also comes in two variants; a VHF only and a VHF with built-in AIS receive.

Icom also offer a marine base station, the IC-F5022M. Communicating from a main office to staff in and around a site can be achieved with this base station. A smart looking enclosure houses the radio which also converts 240V AC to 13.5V DC meaning you can operate the radio from a desk and plug straight into a mains socket in an office, no extra power supply needed. The IC-F5022M features a large, easy to read LCD and this radio has already been used by marinas and harbours to help coordinate traffic. The IC-F5022M will keep you connected to staff in and around the site from an office meaning safety and work can be monitored via communications.

The IC-M37E, IC-M510 and IC-F5022M are all available for purchase from Icom marine dealers. To find out who your local Icom Certified Marine Dealer is or to speak to our Marine Department to find out more about our marine VHF radios, please call us on 01227 741741 or email sales@icomuk.co.uk.

You can find out more about the IC-M37E VHF Marine Radio, IC-M510E VHF/DSC Mounted radio and IC-F5022M Marine Radio Base Station by visiting their dedicated product pages.

To find out more about aquaculture as a whole and the impact of aquaculture in Scotland, please visit Scotland’s Aquaculture website.

Picture courtesy of Gael Force Group. Manufacturer and supplier of equipment, technology and services to the Aquaculture and Fish Farming industries - Gael Force Aquaculture.

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