The Australian Hydrographic Office (AHO) handed over 200 new nautical charts to Solomon Islands officials in Honiara this week.
As Solomon Islands’ Primary Charting Authority, Australia is responsible for the production, management and distribution of nautical charts and products for Solomon Islands.
Deputy Hydrographer of Australia Captain Adam Muckalt said “Australia is proud to be Solomon Islands’ Primary Charting Authority. The impact of accurate nautical charting information is crucial to mariner safety, but also ensures that maritime boundaries are accurately charted enabling Solomon Islands to protect and pursue its sovereign national interests.”
“Part of this is developing and sharing the most up-to-date charts for Solomon Islands. It was a pleasure to hand over 200 new charts to the Solomon Islands Maritime Authority during our visit and know that these maps will contribute to Solomon Islands’ and international mariners reaching their destinations safely,” Captain Muckalt said.
The AHO works closely with the Solomon Islands Maritime Authority (SIMA) and the Solomon Islands Hydrographic Unit to develop charts and publications that support safety of life at sea for mariners, assist Solomon Islands to maximise sustainable use of its sovereign waters, and protect its unique natural environment through safe navigation.
Australia and Solomon Islands meet annually to discuss nautical charting priorities and mariner safety. Australia also advocates for Solomon Islands in international hydrography forums and produces Solomon Islands’ tide tables.
AHO and SIMA also held an annual tripartite meeting with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). JICA is assisting SIMA by providing charting support for Honiara and Noro Ports.
SIMA Director Thierry Nervale said, “It’s great to bring fresh energy to our hydrography partnerships.”
“Hydrography is fundamental to maximising the sustainable use of our ocean while protecting life at sea and the environment,” Director Nervale said.
The AHO is part of the Department of Defence and provides direct support to the Australian Defence Force.