An open day, comprising an exhibition and a trip on-board CGS Barracuda and the Fast Interceptor Boat (FIB) of the National Coast Guard to showcase the importance of Hydrographic products for a vessel at sea, were organised, today, by the Ministry of Housing and Lands, at the Quay B of the Port Louis Harbour, to mark World Hydrography Day 2019.
The Minister of Housing and Lands, Mr Purmanund Jhugroo, the High Commissioner of India to Mauritius, Mr Tanmaya Lal, as well as other eminent personalities were present on the occasion.
In his address, Minister Jhugroo underpinned Government's vision of transforming Mauritius into an ocean state which requires promoting the ocean economy as one of its main pillars of development. According to him, the expected expansion of activities in the ocean will play a critical role in the economic and social development of the country.
The Minister pointed out that the science of hydrography will certainly play a major role in achieving this Governmental vision. On that score, he spoke of the progress of hydrography in the country, while pointing out that the existing Hydrographic Unit, with the adoption of new technology, both in terms of hardware and software, is evolving into a modern Hydrographic Office. He announced that the Mauritius Hydrographic Service will soon be acquiring a portable multi-beam system which will increase the capability of the Unit. He also expressed conviction as regards the expansion of the Unit, with a firm roadmap for the future, to enable full spectrum of operations associated with Hydrographic Services.
Moreover, Mr Jhugroo highlighted the historic India-Mauritius partnership in the field of hydrography and emphasised that following the signature of a Memorandum of Understanding on hydrography, immense progress has been made towards charting the vast Exclusive Economic Zone of Mauritius. He pointed out that following the annual joint hydrographic surveys undertaken by the Indian Naval survey vessels in our waters, eight charts have been accorded International status, which will give a boost to the availability of these charts for the international marine community to navigate safely within the Mauritian territory.
He also conveyed his gratitude to India for its unflinching support to Mauritius in its agenda to modernise Mauritius and Agalega.
On that occasion, Minister Jhugroo handed over to the High Commissioner of India, the plan of a recently carried out Hydrographic Survey. The data derived from the survey will be forwarded to the National Hydrographic Office, India, for inclusion in the future navigational products of the region.
World Hydrography Day
World Hydrography Day, observed every year on 21 June, aims at increasing public awareness of hydrography science which includes supporting nautical charting and the delivery of tide, current and water level information, safe maritime transportation, marine conservation, and determining the limits of continental shelf.
The theme for this year is "Hydrographic Information Driving Marine Knowledge," which sheds light on the increasing importance of hydrographic information with regard to broader marine community.