21 June is World Hydrography Day which was promulgated by the United Nations on 29 November 2005. World Hydrography Day also marks the 96th anniversary of the establishment of the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO).
Hydrography has been essential in the exploration and development of the South-West (SW) Pacific region. Apart from using the stars for navigation, the early spread of people through the SW Pacific has also been dependent upon Hydrography and the knowledge that was passed down to those behind the early explorers either by word of mouth or through the use of nautical charts and other hydrographic knowledge. While “Moana” may just be an animated movie to some, it also depicted the use of some hydrographic information to navigate. Explorers such as Cook, Flinders, Janszoon, La Perouse, and even the First Australians, were both navigators and hydrographers at the same time, opening up new worlds and opportunities.
Hydrography is the charting of the Oceans and Seas and navigable waterways of the planet. The IHO has stated: "It remains a fact that the depth of barely 10% of the world’s oceans and about 50% of the world’s coastal waters has been measured directly. The depth of the remainder is either estimated from such things as satellite-based gravity measurements or no depth is available at all. The result is that there are higher resolution maps of the Moon, Mars, and Venus than for most of the world’s maritime areas. Survey coverage is particularly poor in the Caribbean, Indian and Pacific Oceans and the Polar regions, but all areas of the world are affected to some extent, including the waters of many developed coastal States."
Contrary to popular belief, and despite it being the largest country in the SW Pacific region, there are still parts of the Australian coast that have not been completely charted today.
A product of Hydrography is nautical charts. This allows nation states to trade by providing routes for safe shipping. With our near neighbours in the PNG and the South West Pacific, safe passage allows their economies to benefit from tourism, fishing, exporting of their goods and commodities and import their daily needs. Further, Hydrography allows for the planning for the effects of climate change.
The science of Hydrography is used for exploration and oil & gas infrastructure, including drilling platforms and pipelines. It is used to lay subsea cables (power and telecommunications) between countries and continents. It is used in developing renewable energy sources. (Wind, wave and tide.)
There are changes coming within the profession, the use of satellite derived bathymetry, autonomous vehicles (surface and subsea) and crowd sourced bathymetry, and outsourcing of Hydrography from the public sector to the private sector.
As island nations, Australia and its neighbours in the SW Pacific region depends on Hydrography for the safe and productive export of resources and for the import of many of its needs. As such, the work of hydrographers is significant and important to the development of the region's economies, the support of safety of navigation, the protection of the marine environment, coastal zone management, marine spatial data infrastructures, defence and security, resource exploration, and all other components of the blue economy - whether from the public or the private sector.
There can be no doubt that the significance of hydrography to global trade, the environment, our living standards and maritime security continues to grow.
Vice Admiral Chris Ritchie, AO, RANR
Welcome to the Australasian Hydrographic Society, regional focus for
hydrography and related sciences in SE Asia, the SW Pacific and beyond.
Recent and extraordinary progress in ocean based technology means that the maritime industry and undersea exploration will be to this century that which aviation and aerospace exploration was to the last. There is concurrently great public interest in the heritage of exploration. As such, the Society aims to serve anyone with an interest in the science (and art) of this subject, the influence of which makes it the great common denominator for maritime nations.
Steve Duffield, President AHS
Membership of The Australasian Hydrographic Society is open to any individual or organisation with an interest in the science (and art) of hydrography, hydrographic exploration and its heritage.
Applications are accepted for the AHS Education Award for evry Academic Year. The closing date for applications is in April/May every year.
All regions of the Australasian Hydrographic Society organize and manage their own ocasional events, conferences, exhibitions and webinars. Visit AHS event calendar to find out more.
Because of the geographical area covered by the Society, meetings of members and other activities are generally conducted on a Regional basis. Each Region has its own Management Committee consisting of at least a Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer.
In the meantime work proceded in the international arena and at a meeting held on 13 - 14 May 2002 The Hydrographic Society Council formalised the International Federation of Hydrographic Societies with a structure to bring together the National Hydrographic Societies.The International Federation of Hydrographic Societies is a unique partnership of learned national and regional hydrographic societies which, through its international membership, has the ability to reach representatives of every specialism within the hydrographic profession, at all levels of experience and expertise. It, therefore, has great international power as a focal point for ideas and as a catalyst for their realisation.
Membership of the Federation is comprised exclusively of national hydrographic societies or similar organisations. The founding members were the national hydrographic societies which evolved from the former Branches of The Hydrographic Society. From 2005 membership is open to any other national society or similar organisation, subject to the approval of the Executive Committee.
The IFHS is a "one national society, one vote" organisation, irrespective of individual membership numbers or in the case of regional societies such as we are, the number of countries that society represents. Each National Society will have one National Representative.
On Monday 01 November 2004, the evening preceeding Hydr04, on the conclusion of the 32nd, and final Annual General Meeting of The Hydrographic Society, the National Representitives of the five member hydrographic societies of Australia, Benelux, Denmark, United Kingdom and USA each signed a Special Resolution formally adopting a new Memorandum and Articles of Association thus formally marking the inauguration of the International Federation of Hydrographic Societies.Visit IFHS Website
IFHS has an accurate list of upcoming events around the world. To visit a list of events please click here.
Corporate memebers' news from all the memeber socities around the word is published here. The member societies are Australasia, Benelux, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Korea, South Africa, United Kingdom
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