Regional workshop focuses on safer nautical charts
14 February 2012
The Australian Hydrographic Service will host representatives from 10 South West Pacific nations at a Technical Workshop on Shallow Water Bathymetry.
The workshop, held on 13-14 February, focused on techniques for collecting and analysing information to improve the quality of nautical charts in ports and coastal areas.
“The South West Pacific is comprised of island nations, all of which are reliant on shipping for imports and exports,” Hydrographer of Australia, Commodore Rod Nairn said.
“In Australia, for example, 99 per cent of our trade by volume is transported by sea.
“Trends in shipping across the South West Pacific include increased tourist demand for ocean travel to places ‘off the beaten track’ and secondly, deeper draught ships whether for tourism or trade. These bigger ships sit lower in the water which means they are more at risk of grounding unless there are accurate and up-to-date surveys of the ports and shallow waters.
“Hence, this technical workshop is a training opportunity for our counterparts in South West Pacific nations. It is part of Australia’s commitment to taking a leadership role in the region for higher-accuracy hydrographic surveying,” Commodore Nairn said.
The workshop is supported by the IHO as part of its capacity building efforts. Australia is the Capacity Building Coordinator for the IHO’s South West Pacific Hydrographic Commission.
Fourteen participants from 10 South West Pacific nations are expected to attend the two-day workshop which will be followed by a two-day meeting of the commission. The meeting will review international nautical chart schemes and Electronic Navigational Chart coverage, develop further capacity building initiatives in island states and raise the awareness of the importance of hydrography in the region. Special emphasis has been placed on liaising with other regional maritime organisations.
The International Hydrographic Office (IHO) provides active support to developing hydrographic services as well as annual funding for training and capacity building activities in the South West Pacific region. In conjunction with the IHO, Australia, as regional coordinator, plays an integral part in coordinating and administering training and capacity building projects.
Media contact: Defence Media Operations (02) 6127 1999