GIS– 02 July, 2018: An open day on board the National Coast Guard Ship Barracuda coupled with an exhibition of hydrographic assets, nautical products and recent works undertaken by the Hydrographic Unit of the Ministry Housing and Lands was held today at J H Nagdan Hall, in Port Louis harbour to mark the World Hydrography Day 2018, which is observed on 21 June every year. The Minister of Housing and Lands, Mr Purmanund Jhugroo, the Deputy High Commissioner of India, Mr K. D. Dewal, and other personalities were present on that occasion.
The theme chosen this year by the International Hydrographic Organisation is Bathymetry – the foundation for sustainable seas, oceans and waterways. The objective is to focus on the growing importance of hydrography and the knowledge of the shape, nature and depth of the seafloor as a fundamental requirement for the proper, safe, sustainable and cost effective use of the world’s seas, oceans and waterways.
This year’s theme also aims at enabling all stakeholders involved in hydrography to highlight the significance and importance of their activities which comprise a wide array of activities ranging from support of safety navigation; protection of the marine environment; coastal zone management; marine spatial data infrastructures to defence; resource exploration and all other components of the blue economy.
In his address the Minister of Housing and Lands highlighted that the Hydrographic Unit will be renamed ‘Mauritius Hydrographic Service’ to be better represented at national and international forums and to have a greater impact. This rebranding, he stated, coincides with the 50th Anniversary of Independence of Mauritius and marks the fifth year since the inception of the Hydrographic Unit.
Minister Jhugroo recalled that the Hydrographic Unit was set up in 2013 following the signature of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Mauritius and India in 2005. The MoU provides for development and cooperation in the field of hydrography and assistance in the production of navigational charts, training of staff and developing expertise in the field.
He pointed out that seven charts have been given international status as a result of the joint efforts of the Republic of Mauritius and the Republic of India. He also emphasised that all efforts are being done to provide officers of the Hydrographic Unit with the latest hydrographic equipment such as the Multi-beam Echo-sounder so that a high density and high quality bathymetric data can be collected.
On the same occasion, Minister Jhugroo handed over to the Deputy Commissioner Dewal a plan of two recent hydrographic surveys carried out by the Hydrographic Unit. The data derived from the survey will be forwarded to the National Hydrographic Office of India for inclusion in the future navigational products of the region.
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