24 Jun 2014

Pacific nations urged to chart waters for safe navigation

11:04 am on 24 June 2014

Pacific nations are being urged to make sure their coastal waters are better charted so ships can navigate safely.

New Zealand's national hydrographer, Adam Greenland, is in Fiji this month to provide training to a range of Pacific nations including Papua New Guinea, Kiribati, Cook Islands, Tonga, and Samoa.

Hydrographic surveying in Fiji

Hydrographic surveying in Fiji Photo: Photo courtesy of SPC

Hydrography is an applied science that involves measuring oceans, seas and coastal waters through surveys, maps and charts.

Mr Greenland says hydrography is critical for coastal nations and a requirement under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

"It is not an obligation, it is a mandatory requirement that they provide for hydrographic services and if they don't their economies will suffer and they won't reach their full potential and there could be an adverse outcome in terms of ships grounding because you don't have adequate and appropriate charts and there could be a loss of life."

Land Information New Zealand's national hydrographer, Adam Greenland.