The Coast Guard last week began seeking information for an upgraded biometric capability for its cutter crews in carrying out law enforcement interdictions at sea.

The Biometrics at Sea (BASS) 3.0 effort will include the capture of fingerprints, face and iris images of migrants, suspected criminals and others interdicted at sea but only requires matching of fingerprints and iris images by Coast Guard crews aboard the cutter, according to a system requirements document released on June 25. The system must also be capable of ingesting biographic data, it says.

The Coast Guard began biometric operation aboard some of its cutters in 2008, collecting fingerprints using handheld devices from persons interdicted at sea. Separately, biographic data of these individuals is also collected.

After the fingerprints are collected, the data is transmitted to the Department of Homeland Security’s IDENT biometric repository to search for matches and to add new records for storage. The results allow the Coast Guard to determine if an alien should be detained for prosecution, repatriated, or if another action should be taken.

The current BASS system has been used aboard 23 Coast Guard cutters in the service’s District 7 area of responsibility, which is based in Miami, Fla. Typical operations involve migrant interdictions in the Florida Strait and Mona Passage. The Coast Guard had also planned to expand use of the system within the drug transit zones that are patrolled by the service in the Western Hemisphere.