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CI Seabed Mapping Underway

UKHO chartered boats at Hog Sty Bay

The United Kingdom Hydrographic Office (UKHO) has chartered two boats to survey the waters off Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac as part of the UK's Overseas Territories Seabed Mapping Programme (OTSMP) commitments.

The survey data gathered will be used to produce more accurate navigation charts and guides, improving access for trade and tourism related industries and enabling a wider range of ships to safely call at the islands.

This information can also assist in infrastructure planning and development, improving resilience against forces of nature, and helping the Cayman Islands meet their international maritime obligations, including the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Convention and elements of the Implementation of the IMO Instruments Code (IIIC).

Over a duration of three weeks in December, the high-resolution surveys will capture bathymetric information (seafloor features and depths), and as part of the survey, tidal observations and tidal stream measurements will also be taken.

The survey follows a technical assessment visit conducted by the UKHO in May 2017, where local stakeholders, such as the Maritime Authority of the Cayman Islands (MACI), Department of Environment and the Port Authority, identified a range of activities and requirements which determined the priority areas that required surveying.

Ian Davies, International Hydrographic Programme Manager at the UKHO, welcomed the survey, commenting:"A good understanding of the ocean is increasingly important in continuing to help island territories realise their economic potential within their marine Exclusive Economic Zone, and for supporting disaster management and resilience against forces of nature. As Primary Charting Authority for the Cayman Islands, this programme gives the UKHO the chance to systematically survey the waters surrounding the islands, helping to ensure the territory is fulfilling its international maritime obligations."

About the Overseas Territories Seabed Mapping Programme

The Overseas Territories Seabed Mapping Programme is funded by the UK Government's Conflict, Stability and Security Fund (CSSF). It is coordinated by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office as part of the UK's commitment to support the Overseas Territories.

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, the office helps 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), the office works to set and raise global standards of hydrography, cartography and navigation.

UKHO's market-leading portfolio of ADMIRALTY Maritime Data Solutions is found on over 90% of the world's ships trading internationally. Relied upon by mariners for over 200 years, its portfolio provides the most comprehensive range of SOLAS-compliant charts, publications and digital services to keep crews, cargo and ships safe.

As leaders in the field, its 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 it to operate as a self-funding organisation in the digital era, and sustain its position in the long term.