Download PDF version Contact company

Over twenty years ago, very few people knew about the hidden, underwater world off Pembrokeshire, on the west coast of Wales. However, in 1990 the creation of Skomer Marine Nature Reserve (MNR) covering the waters off the headland and around Skomer Island, gave the Countryside Council for Wales (CCW) a golden opportunity to study and protect this marine environment.

Skomer’s waters are famed for their amazing range of underwater marine life. Situated on the boundary where northern and southern species overlap, there is a huge variety of wildlife of all shapes and colours – making it a great place to study and monitor changes in the marine environment.

An Environmental Wonderland

Many species are studied in detail. These range from sponges to gray seals, and from tiny, colorful sea slugs to graceful, slow-growing seafans, a 120 of which are monitored and photographed every year to study changes in them. Over the last 20 years, King scallops, which are protected from all forms of fishing within the MNR, have increased more than eight fold.

Eelgrass, a rare and sensitive habitat which harbours a wealth of wildlife, has increased in area and density. It is protected in the MNR by marker buoys and by providing moorings for visiting boats - eelgrass is easily damaged if anchors are dragged through it. The environment at Skomer has also been identified as Wales‘ only Important Plant Area (IPA) for marine algae, with over 240 species recorded.

CCW Marine Conservation Officer for Skomer, Mark Burton said: “Keeping an eye on the Marine Nature Reserve which is only accessible by boat can be a challenge. This is especially tough in rough weather where winds of over 110 mph and waves over 13 metres high have been measured.” Burton’s duties include maintaining the site’s oceanographic monitoring and weather station. CCW collates data on temperature, salinity, turbidity, chlorophyll, PH and oxygen from probes on the seabed of the Skomer MNR which I used as part of a UK wide research project on climate change.

MOBOTIX cameras help conservation effort in Skolmer Island
The MOBOTIX solution withstands the ever changing weather on Skomer

Marine Reserve Officers also need to manage human activity, so that it is in line with the conservation objectives of the site. More than 145,000 people have visited the Marine Nature Reserve exhibition at Martin’s Haven. Add to this more than 40,000 divers have explored the MNR – either for pleasure or to contribute to the survey and monitoring work.

“We also need to make sure that illegal fishing does not occur within the protected area but with limited staff, it was felt that a remote, high resolution camera would be a major benefit,” explains Burton.

All Weather Capability Essential

Based on a requirement for extreme reliability and ability to work in all-weather conditions, CCW selected a MOBOTIX solution from Ecl-ips; a highly regarded Advanced MOBOTIX Partner. The MOBOTIX M24-SEC cameras are installed within a converted coast guard hut on the mainland overlooking the island and provide wide angle coverage across several key locations such as protected scallop beds and wildlife areas.

The M24-SEC MOBOTIX cameras offers a higher 30 frames per second capture at megapixel resolutions. The two new cameras each have a 60 degree lens system. Together, the cameras can cover critical areas of the island and estuary from its vantage point in the coast guard hut. Featuring a 64 GB of internal storage capacity, the M24 cameras can ensure that even if a communication link is lost; the island can still be monitored with recording for later analysis.

CCW accesses the system via a fiber optic link and all footage is recorded for 10 days. Burton said: “The system also tags movement events and can generate an alert whenever a vessel comes into the area of coverage – this is useful for monitoring any illegal fishing within the area.”

skomer island's beauty is preserved with help from MOBOTIX
The M24 cameras use a decentralized solution that is easy for conservation officers to control

"High Definition Protecting Stunning Natural Beauty"

The high resolution images produced by the camera allow for accurate identification of objects within the field of vision. The megapixel capability also offers software-based zoom capability without the need for an additional mechanical PTZ enclosure.

In common with all MOBOTIX cameras, the installation uses a decentralized concept which places intelligence within the camera. Through decentralization, CCW avoids the need for any additional costly video capture, encoding or storage devices. Conservation Officers can control the cameras using a simple internet browser with all video images viewed from a simple PC or even mobile devices such as smartphones or tablets. This technology innovation makes the monitoring process extremely flexible while reducing cost and complexity.

The cameras also have two way audio capabilities which allow ad-hoc communication between the mainland and the hut on the island.

To date, the cameras have proven extremely reliable and withstood extreme temperature changes and weather conditions without fail. The system was installed by Worcestershire based MOBOTIX partner Ecl-ips, a specialist in delivering environmental and security threat management. “The implementation by the team from Ecl-ips was extremely professional and the cameras have worked well ever since,” Burton adds.

The real-time images have been made available to the public through the CCW website and also provide a guide for groups preparing to scuba dive or sail in and around the island. The installation is the first of its kind within a Marine Nature Reserve. The use of this innovative visual technology is helping to raise awareness and protect wildlife.

Share with LinkedIn Share with Twitter Share with Facebook Share with Facebook
Download PDF version Download PDF version

In case you missed it

What New Technologies And Trends Will Shape Video Analytics?
What New Technologies And Trends Will Shape Video Analytics?

The topic of video analytics has been talked and written about for decades, and yet is still one of the cutting-edge themes in the physical security industry. Some say yesterday’s analytics systems tended to overpromise and underdeliver, and there are still some skeptics. However, newer technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) are reinvigorating the sector and enabling it to finally live up to its promise. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What new technologies and trends will shape video analytics in 2021?

Tackling The Challenge Of The Growing Cybersecurity Gap
Tackling The Challenge Of The Growing Cybersecurity Gap

The SolarWinds cyberattack of 2020 was cited by security experts as “one of the potentially largest penetrations of Western governments” since the Cold War. This attack put cybersecurity front and center on people’s minds again. Hacking communication protocol The attack targeted the US government and reportedly compromised the treasury and commerce departments and Homeland Security. What’s interesting about the SolarWinds attack is that it was caused by the exploitation of a hacker who injected a backdoor communications protocol.  This means that months ahead of the attack, hackers broke into SolarWinds systems and added malicious code into the company’s software development system. Later on, updates being pushed out included the malicious code, creating a backdoor communication for the hackers to use. Once a body is hacked, access can be gained to many. An explosion of network devices What has made the threat of cyberattacks much more prominent these days has been IT's growth in the last 20 years, notably cheaper and cheaper IoT devices. This has led to an explosion of network devices. IT spending has never really matched the pace of hardware and software growth Compounding this issue is that IT spending has never really matched the pace of hardware and software growth. Inevitably, leading to vulnerabilities, limited IT resources, and an increase in IoT devices get more attention from would-be hackers. Bridging the cybersecurity gap In the author’s view, this is the main reason why the cybersecurity gap is growing. This is because it inevitably boils down to counter-strike versus counter-strike. IT teams plug holes, and hackers find new ones, that is never going to stop. The companies must continue fighting cyber threats by developing new ways of protecting through in-house testing, security best practice sources, and both market and customer leads. End-user awareness One of the key battlegrounds here is the education of end-users. This is an area where the battle is being won at present, in the author’s opinion. End-users awareness of cybersecurity is increasing. It is crucial to educate end-users on what IoT devices are available, how they are configured, how to enable it effectively, and critically, how to use it correctly and safely. Physical security network A valuable product that tackles cybersecurity is, of course, Razberi Monitor™, which is new to ComNet’s portfolio. Monitor™ is a software platform that provides a top-down view of the physical security network and ecosystem. Monitor™ is a software platform that provides a top-down view of the physical security network and ecosystem It monitors and manages all the system components for cybersecurity and system health, providing secure visibility into the availability, performance, and cyber posture of servers, storage, cameras, and networked security devices. Proactive maintenance By intelligently utilizing system properties and sensor data, Razberi’s award-winning cybersecurity software prevents problems while providing a centralized location for asset and alert management. Monitor™ enables proactive maintenance by offering problem resolutions before they become more significant problems. Identifying issues before they fail and become an outage is key to system availability and, moreover, is a considerable cost saving.

Hikvision Ensures Building-Wide Security And Optimising Parking Flow For Luxury Four-Star Hotel In Kigali
Hikvision Ensures Building-Wide Security And Optimising Parking Flow For Luxury Four-Star Hotel In Kigali

Security monitoring, intrusion detection, parking management, one installation of Hikvision technology can do all this, and more. Discover how the 2000 Hotel in Kigali is using Hikvision technology to make operations more secure and efficient on every floor of its luxury four-star accommodation. The 2000 Hotel in Kigali, Rwanda, is known as the ‘highest hotel in Kigali’, offering captivating views over the city and the mountains. Guests enjoy the hotel’s four-star luxury facilities for work and leisure, taking advantage of its central location in the heart of Rwanda’s bustling capital city. Security of hotel guests has always been paramount, and so soon after the hotel was built, the management team installed security cameras throughout. However, over time it turned out that the imagery captured simply wasn’t clear enough to be useful in many situations. Underground parking lot Unfortunately, we started to notice that goods were going missing in the supermarket, as well as in the warehouse" What’s more, there were further security issues following the opening of a new supermarket on the hotel’s second floor. “Unfortunately, we started to notice that goods were going missing in the supermarket, as well as in the warehouse,” explains Miao Zhang, the Managing Director, 2000 Hotel. “Sometimes we noticed cash was missing from the registers, too.” In addition to this, the hotel was seeking a more efficient way to manage its underground parking lot. “The hotel was using a guard to let people in and out of the parking lot, and to calculate payments. But with more than 500 spaces to look after, this took time, often causing traffic jams as visitors waited to leave. Plus, the parking fees were sometimes incorrect,” explains Jaden. “Consequently, the team decided to explore how technology might be able to help.” Intrusion alarm system The 2000 Hotel chose a complete Hikvision solution, featuring 70 security cameras, a 60-channel intrusion alarm system for the supermarket, and an entrance/exit and payment system for the parking lot. In the corridors of the hotel and in the supermarket, the team installed Hikvision Dome Network Cameras (DS-2CD2145FWD-I). These discreet cameras offer high-quality images, even in low light conditions. In the hotel lobby, the stairwells and in the supermarket, the team installed Hikvision Bullet Network Cameras (DS-2CD2T45FWD-I5), with extended zoom and infrared capabilities that are ideal for these larger spaces. At the supermarket checkouts, the team installed Hikvision Varifocal Bullet Network Cameras (DS-2CD2645FWD-IZS), which feature a motorised varifocal lens for close monitoring of this busy location. Varifocal IR bullet cameras Meanwhile, Hikvision Varifocal IR DarkFighter Bullet Cameras (DS-2CD5A26G0-IZS) were installed at the main entrance of the hotel and the supermarket. These feature a wide dynamic range, ensuring clear images even when the cameras are facing strong light. To protect the supermarket outside of opening hours, the 2000 Hotel installed a complete Hikvision intrusion alarm system. The alarm system contains a PIR sensor (DS-PD2-D15AME), which is installed near the window of the supermarket. If someone intrudes in from the window at night, the system will be triggered and an alarm will be issued. Not only that, there is also a panic alarm station (DS-PEA1-21) in the control room of the supermarket. If an emergency occurs, people can use the tool to realise alarm aid at the first time. ANPR video unit The 2000 Hotel is managing the whole solution through Hikvision IVMS-5200E software Finally, at the entrance and exit of the underground parking lot, the hotel installed the Hikvision ANPR Video Unit (DS-TCG227-A), along with barriers, a card station and an integrated payment system, also from Hikvision. The 2000 Hotel is managing the whole solution through Hikvision IVMS-5200E software. Thanks to the high quality Hikvision technology, live review is very clear, making it ideal to support the investigation of any security incidents. However, since cameras were installed, there have been fewer incidents to deal with. What’s more, the supermarket team are better equipped to respond in the event of an out-of-hours breach. “If an intruder triggers the alarm, the duty manager gets an instant alert on their phone with quick access to relevant footage. This gives them real peace of mind,” says Jaden Huang, the Project Manager from Hikvision. “Indeed, it’s possible to view the status of the whole hotel system from a laptop or phone.” Parking management solution Down in the basement parking lot, the Hikvision parking management solution is working effectively. “Parking has become faster and more automated. For example, barriers will open and close automatically when customers take or insert a card, and parking charges are automatically calculated. And there are no more jams on exit,” confirms Jaden. The 2000 Hotel team are working on a new building in Kigali, with construction almost completed. The plan is to use Hikvision technology here, too. Miao says “Hikvision has provided the 2000 Hotel in Rwanda with world-class video technology that solved a host of our security and operational challenges. They also offer excellent support in one centralised location. We fully appreciate their professional service, and look forward to continuing our working relationship.”