Survey to improve navigation, support sustainable economic development and protect the marine environment
The United Kingdom Hydrographic Office (UKHO) has deployed a survey vessel, The Sea Rentiy II and team to the waters of Montserrat until the end of August 2017, the organisation has announced.
Using state-of- the-art multibeam sonar equipment to map key areas of the seabed, the survey team will enable the production of accurate, modern navigational charts for ships using Montserrat’s waters. This will dramatically improve the safety and efficiency of navigation in the territory’s waters, as well as helping to protect the environment.
The project, undertaken as part of the UK Overseas Territories Seabed Mapping Programme (OTSMP) and funded by the UK Government’s Conflict, Stability and Security Fund (CSSF), which is co-ordinated by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, will be the most comprehensive seabed mapping survey of the seas surrounding Montserrat to-date.
Alongside applications in improving safety and efficiency, the data can also be used to support other activities such as fisheries management and coastal inundation modelling.
David Parker, Hydrographic Development Assessor at UKHO welcomed the survey: “A good understanding of the ocean is increasingly important in continuing to help island territories like Montserrat realise their economic potential within their marine exclusive economic zone. As Primary Charting Authority for Montserrat, this programme gives UKHO the chance to systematically survey the ocean surrounding the island and ensure that the territory is fulfilling its international maritime safety obligations under the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Convention.
“The new data, gathered using state-of- the-art technology, will enable the production of comprehensive nautical charts for the island’s waters. This, in turn, will give Montserratians more tools to help unlock the huge potential in a sustainable manner that conserves their waters and marine resources in accordance with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.”
The survey team will comprehensively map the island’s west coast waters over the course of a month, before moving on to conduct similar surveys in the British Virgin Islands.
About the United Kingdom Hydrographic Office (UKHO)
The UKHO is the UK’s agency providing hydrographic and marine geospatial data to mariners and maritime organisations across the world.
Supplying defence and the commercial shipping industry, we help ensure Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), protect the marine environment and support the efficiency of global trade.
Together with other national hydrographic offices and the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO), we work to set and raise global standards of hydrography, cartography and navigation.
Our market-leading portfolio of ADMIRALTY Maritime Products & Services is found on over 90% of the world’s ships trading internationally. Relied upon by mariners for over 200 years, our portfolio provides the most comprehensive range of SOLAS-compliant charts, publications and digital services to keep crews, cargo and ships safe.
As leaders in our field, our global reputation is based on the reliability of hydrographic and geospatial information, sourced and compiled by experts.
The UKHO is a trading fund of the Ministry of Defence (MoD), allowing us to operate as a self-funding organisation in the digital era, and sustain our position in the long term.