Canadian Harbor Bolsters Security With Wireless Video Surveillance

As part of an effort to crack down on equipment theft, Steveston Harbour in Richmond, British Columbia is the first Canadian harbor to deploy a wireless video mesh surveillance network that will monitor ships, trucks, containers and fishing equipment.

The harbor security station is fed live video from 22 cameras placed along the harbor, eight of which are three kilometers away and would have been impossible to set up without Firetide’s wireless network. In addition to deterring crime, the cameras have also helped the harbor meet increasing port regulations and prepare for the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

Located 30 minutes south of Vancouver, Steveston Harbour houses over 700 ships and on-site services like welding, repairs and equipment shops, making it one of the Canada’s busiest commercial fishing harbors. The vessels provide seafood to North American markets and the harbor contains nets, vessels, vehicles and other equipment worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, some of which makes for attractive targets for thieves.

The harbor is large with 70 acres of combined water and land that includes very remote portions, making it difficult to patrol around the clock.

“With the wireless cameras now in place, we can now respond more quickly and monitor multiple areas where theft is more active,” said Joel Baziuk, operations supervisor of Steveston Harbour Authority. “With Firetide, we placed cameras in areas we previously thought were too far for wireless equipment to reach or too expensive to trench with fiber. The network really exceeded our expectations.”

Because some of the ships charter to Alaska, these vessels fall under the International Ship and Port Security Code and must be monitored when at the harbor. The camera feeds help meet these increased regulations and plans are in place to increase the camera count and further leverage the wireless network. This will help in the Steveston Harbour’s overall preparation with local law officials and coast guard for increased boat traffic as the 2010 Olympics approach.

Eight Firetide wireless mesh nodes connect eight Sony IP cameras transmitting MPEG 4 level video at 30 fps. An IQinVision megapixel camera has been placed at the gate to capture license plates of incoming and outgoing vehicles. Video feeds are managed with Milestone software.

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