Automated surveillance of shipping emissions started in Finland as an automated “watchdog buoy” began sending signals in Finnish waters off the southwestern coast, the state-owned Arctia company said in a press release.
Commissioned by the Arctia, the buoy detects air pollution particles from vessels exhaust fumes. It monitors the compliance of ships with the International Maritime Organization norms on sulphur dioxide (SO2) emissions. This is a pilot trial to last throughout this summer.
The buoy is able to connect the results to the right vessel. “By using algorithms the program then assesses if the passing vessel complies with the adequate regional emission legislations,” Arctia said in the media release.
The trial is a part of the EU-funded Intelligent Sea Project. Finnish newspaper Turun Sanomat quoted the company representatives as saying the buoy is a “real breakthrough in the market of marine air quality and emission monitoring”. It can be installed “almost anywhere” and can be moved as shipping navigation lanes change. It is using solar power.
Finnish authorities have previously noted no over-the-sea monitoring of maritime emissions existed, and they have been monitored with observance from land only.
Arctia is a company owned by the Finnish state. It provides, along with its subsidiaries, services related to icebreaking, multipurpose vessels, oil spill response and harbor icebreaking, towing, and waterway maintenance as well as marine surveying services. Arctia developed the automatic surveillance equipment together with Kine Robot Solutions Ltd, another Finnish company.