Later this year a new high tech satellite system will be put into operation throughout the Canaries. The new system, know as the Seahorse Network, is able to track drug and people traffickers for several days before they come ashore.

The system will connect intelligence agencies in Portugal, Mauritania, Senegal and the Cape Verde Islands to the main headquarters in Las Palmas to monitor boat traffic along the coast of West Africa.

The system operates via SpainSat, (see pic right) a satellite owned and operated by Spain’s Ministry of Defence.

Seahorse network will gather information from the various intelligence agencies as well as making use of data obtained from the marine Automatic Identification System, AIS, which tracks every vessel over 500 tons in the Eastern Atlantic.