A principal aim of the IHO is to ensure that the world's seas, oceans and navigable waters are properly surveyed and charted. It does this through the setting of international standards, the co-ordination of the endeavours of the world's national hydrographic offices, and through its capacity building programme.
The IHO enjoys observer status at the United Nations, where it is the recognised competent authority on hydrographic surveying and nautical charting. When referring to hydrography and nautical charting in Conventions and similar Instruments, it is the IHO standards and specifications that are normally used.
|International Hydrographic Organization|
Organisation Hydrographique Internationale
|Founded||21 June 1921|
|List of Member States|
|Dr. Mathias Jonas|
The IHO was established in 1921 as the International Hydrographic Bureau (IHB). The present name was adopted in 1970, as part of a new international Convention on the IHO adopted by the then member nations. The former name International Hydrographic Bureau was retained to describe the IHO secretariat until 8 November 2016, when a revision to the Convention on the IHO entered into force. Thereafter the IHB became known as the "IHO Secretariat", comprising an elected Secretary-General and two supporting Directors, together with a small permanent staff (17 as at August 2019), at the Organization's headquarters in Monaco.
During the 19th century, many maritime nations established hydrographic offices to provide means for improving the navigation of naval and merchant vessels by providing nautical publications, nautical charts, and other navigational services. There were substantial differences in hydrographic procedures charts, and publications. In 1889, an International Maritime Conference was held at Washington, D.C., and it was proposed to establish a "permanent international commission." Similar proposals were made at the sessions of the International Congress of Navigation held at Saint Petersburg in 1908 and the International Maritime Conference held at Saint Petersburg in 1912.
In 1919, the national Hydrographers of Great Britain and France cooperated in taking the necessary steps to convene an international conference of Hydrographers. London was selected as the most suitable place for this conference, and on 24 July 1919, the First International Conference opened, attended by the Hydrographers of 24 nations. The object of the conference was "To consider the advisability of all maritime nations adopting similar methods in preparation, construction, and production of their charts and all hydrographic publications; of rendering the results in the most convenient form to enable them to be readily used; of instituting a prompt system of mutual exchange of hydrographic information between all countries; and of providing an opportunity to consultations and discussions to be carried out on hydrographic subjects generally by the hydrographic experts of the world." This is still the major purpose of the IHO.
As a result of the 1919 Conference, a permanent organization was formed and statutes for its operations were prepared. The IHB, now the IHO, began its activities in 1921 with 18 nations as members. The Principality of Monaco was selected as the seat of the organization as a result of the offer of Albert I of Monaco to provide suitable accommodation for the Bureau in the Principality.
The IHO develops hydrographic and nautical charting standards. These standards are subsequently adopted and, as of August 2019, used by its currently 91 (as at August 2019) member countries and others in their surveys, nautical charts, and publications. The almost universal use of the IHO standards means that the products and services provided by the world's national hydrographic and oceanographic offices are consistent and recognisable by all seafarers and for other users. Much has been done in the field of standardisation since the IHO was founded.
The IHO has encouraged the formation of Regional Hydrographic Commissions (RHCs). Each RHC coordinates the national surveying and charting activities of countries within each region and acts as a forum to address other matters of common hydrographic interest. The 15 RHCs plus the IHO Hydrographic Commission on Antarctica effectively cover the world. The IHO, in partnership with the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, directs the General Bathymetric Chart of the Oceans programme.
Establishment of the Chart Specifications Committee and International Charts:
Most IHO publications, including the standards, guidelines and associated documents such as the International Hydrographic Review, International Hydrographic Bulletin, the Hydrographic Dictionary and the Year Book are available to the general public free of charge from the IHO website. The IHO publishes the international standards related to charting and hydrography, including S-57, IHO Transfer Standard for Digital Hydrographic Data, the encoding standard that is used primarily for electronic navigational charts.
In 2010, the IHO introduced a new, contemporary hydrographic geospatial standard for modelling marine data and information, known as S-100. S-100 and any dependent product specifications are underpinned by an on-line registry accessible via the IHO website. S-100 is aligned with the ISO 19100 series of geographic standards, thereby making it fully compatible with contemporary geospatial data standards.
Because S-100 is based on ISO 19100, it can be used by other data providers for their maritime-related (non-hydrographic) data and information. Various data and information providers from both the government and private sector are now using S-100 as part of the implementation of the e-Navigation concept that has been endorsed by the UN International Maritime Organization.
The Canadian Hydrographic Service (CHS) is part of the federal department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada and is Canada's authoritative hydrographic office. The CHS represents Canada in the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO).Cape Agulhas
Cape Agulhas (; Portuguese: Cabo das Agulhas [ˈkaβu ðɐz ɐˈɣuʎɐʃ], "Cape of the Needles") is a rocky headland in Western Cape, South Africa.
It is the geographic southern tip of the African continent and the beginning of the dividing line between the Atlantic and Indian Oceans according to the International Hydrographic Organization.Historically, the cape has been known to sailors as a major hazard on the traditional clipper route. It is sometimes regarded as one of the great capes. It was most commonly known in English as Cape L'Agulhas until the 20th century. The town of L'Agulhas is located near to the cape.Cape San Antonio, Cuba
Cape San Antonio (Spanish: Cabo San Antonio), is a cape which forms the western extremity of the Guanahacabibes Peninsula and the western extremity of Cuba. It extends into the Yucatán Channel, and is part of the municipality of Sandino, in Pinar del Río Province. According to the International Hydrographic Organization, it marks the division point between the Caribbean Sea to the south and Gulf of Mexico to the north.Cape Trafalgar
Cape Trafalgar (; Spanish: Cabo Trafalgar [ˈkaβo tɾafalˈɣaɾ]) is a headland in the Province of Cádiz in the south-west of Spain. The 1805 naval Battle of Trafalgar, in which the Royal Navy commanded by Admiral Horatio Nelson decisively defeated Napoleon's combined Spanish and French fleet, took place off the cape.
It lies on the shore of the Atlantic Ocean, northwest of the Strait of Gibraltar. The International Hydrographic Organization defines the Western limit of the strait and the Mediterranean Sea as a line that joins Cape Trafalgar to the North to Cape Spartel to the south.
The most prominent structure on the cape is a 34-metre-high lighthouse (51 metres above sea level), the faro de Cabo Trafalgar, built in 1860.Christmas Island (Tasmania)
The Christmas Island, part of the New Year Group, is a 63.49-hectare (156.9-acre) granite island located in the Great Australian Bight, lying off the north-west coast of Tasmania, Australia. According to the International Hydrographic Organization, the line separating Bass Strait from the Great Australian Bight runs through King Island, so Christmas Island lies in the Great Australian Bight.
The island forms part of the King Island Important Bird Area because of its importance for breeding seabirds and waders.Cooperation Sea
Cooperation Sea, also called Commonwealth Sea (erratum) or Sodruzhestvo Sea, is a proposed sea name for part of the Southern Ocean, between Enderby Land (the eastern limit of which is 59°34'E) and West Ice Shelf (85°E), off the coast of MacRobertson Land and Princess Elizabeth Land. It would stretch over an area of 258,000 km². It would be bordered by the Davis Sea on the east, and by another Russian proposal to the 2002 International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) draft, a Cosmonauts Sea to the west.
The Cooperation Sea was named in 1962 by the Soviet Antarctic Expedition in honor of international science cooperation in Antarctica. The name first appeared as a proposal to the IHO in the IHO 2002 draft. This draft was never approved by the IHO (or any other organization), and the 1953 IHO document (which does not contain the name) remains currently in force. Leading geographic authorities and atlases do not use the name, including the 2014 10th edition of the World Atlas from the United States' National Geographic Society and the 2014 12th edition of the British Times Atlas of the World. But Soviet and Russian-issued maps do.Davis Station is located on the coast near here.Cosmonauts Sea
Cosmonauts Sea (Russian: Море Космонавтов, More Kosmonavtov; sometimes misspelled Cosmonaut Sea) was a proposed sea name as part of the Southern Ocean, off the Prince Olav Coast and Enderby Land, Antarctica, between about 30°E and 50°E. It would have an area of 699,000 square kilometres (270,000 sq mi). It would be bordered by two other proposals from a 2002 International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) draft, a Cooperation Sea to the east, and to the west a Riiser-Larsen Sea.
The Cosmonauts Sea was named in 1962 by the Soviet Antarctic Expedition in honor of the world's first cosmonauts and the beginning of manned space exploration era. The name first appeared as a Russian proposal to the IHO in the IHO 2002 draft. This draft was never approved by the IHO (or any other organization), and the 1953 IHO document remains currently in force. Leading geographic authorities and atlases do not use the name, including the 2014 10th edition World Atlas from the United States' National Geographic Society and the 2014 12th edition of the British Times Atlas of the World, though state-issued maps created by the Soviet Union and the Russian Federation do.The water here is close to freezing throughout the year and is mostly covered by ice. Between 1973 and 1986, several polynyas have occurred in these waters, with the totally enclosed Cosmonaut polynya attaining a maximum size on July 25, 1980, with an open water area of as much as 137,700 km2. This polynya lasted for several weeks before disappearing on August 16, 1980.Geology of Monaco
The geology of Monaco is closely related to the end of the Western Alps, forming the small country's steep corniche coastline. During the last 2.5 million years of the Quaternary high sea levels between glaciations formed erosion terraces and left behind coastal sediment deposits. Beach sands are mixed with frost chippings and other cold-weather remnants of the glacial period and preserve large mammal remains and archaeological remains of early humans in the Gîte des Moulins Cave and the Jardin Exotique. Monaco hosts the International Hydrographic Organization.Gulf of Tolo
The Gulf or Bay of Tolo (Indonesian: Teluk Tolo or Towori) is the body of water lying between the eastern and south-eastern peninsulas of the island of Sulawesi (Celebes) in Indonesia.
Unlike the Gulf of Tomini to its north or the Gulf of Boni to its south-west, the Bay of Tolo is not recognized as a gulf by the International Hydrographic Organization. Instead, it is included in the area of the Molukka Sea.Lazarev Sea
The Lazarev Sea (Russian: Море Лазарева, More Lazareva) is a proposed name for a marginal sea of the Southern Ocean. It would be bordered by two proposals from a 2002 International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) draft, a King Haakon VII Sea to the west and a Riiser-Larsen Sea to the east, or between the Prime Meridian of 0° and 14°E. It would stretch over an area of 929,000 km2 (359,000 sq mi).The Lazarev Sea was named in 1962 by the Soviet Antarctic Expedition in honor of Russian admiral Mikhail Lazarev (1788–1851), who discovered the Antarctic mainland with Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen in 1820. The 2002 IHO draft was never approved by the IHO (or any other organization), and the 1953 IHO document (which does not contain this name) remains currently in force. Leading geographic authorities and atlases do not use the name, including the 2014 10th edition World Atlas from the United States' National Geographic Society and the 2014 12th edition of the British Times Atlas of the World. But Soviet and Russian-state maps do.The prevailing depth of waters here is 3,000 m (9,800 ft), and the maximum depth exceeds 4,500 m (14,800 ft). It stretches over an area of 929,000 km2 (359,000 sq mi).To the south of Lazarev Sea lies Princess Astrid Coast of Queen Maud Land.Ligurian Sea
The Ligurian Sea (Italian: Mar Ligure; French: Mer Ligurienne) is an arm of the Mediterranean Sea, between the Italian Riviera (Liguria) and the island of Corsica. The sea is theorized to be named after the ancient Ligures people.List of Members of the International Hydrographic Organization
As of August 2019, the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) comprises 91 member states, three of which are suspended because of their lapsed annual financial contribution. The IHO identifies its representative member organisations as the respective national hydrographic offices, although the member organisations of some countries are part of wider maritime or other administrations covering a larger range of tasks – for example, oceanography, transport, maritime regulation. In some nations—the UK and France, among others—the hydrographic offices are sub-organisations of the country's Ministry of Defence or the navy, in others they are civilian organisations.Mawson Sea
Mawson Sea is a proposed sea name along the Queen Mary Land coast of East Antarctica east of the Shackleton Ice Shelf. West of it, on the western side of Shackleton Ice Shelf, would be the Davis Sea. To the east would be Bowman Island and Vincennes Bay.
The name was proposed as part of the 2002 International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) draft. This draft was never approved by the IHO (or any other organization), and the 1953 IHO document (which does not contain the name) remains currently in force. Leading geographic authorities and atlases do not use the name, including the 2014 10th edition World Atlas from the National Geographic Society and the 2014 12th edition of the Times Atlas of the World.
Two important glaciers debouche into the water here: Scott Glacier and Denman Glacier. Calving of Denman Glacier gives rise to the periodically appearing Pobeda Ice Island.
It would be named in honor of Australian Antarctic explorer Douglas Mawson.Pakistan Navy Hydrographic Department
The Pakistan Navy Hydrographic Department (Reporting name: PN Hydrographic Department), is an active-duty and non-combatant naval administrative staff command, and one of the major science and technology command of the Pakistan Navy. The command served as the operational scientific naval oceanographic program for the Government of Pakistan and jointly conducts research and development programs with civilian National Institute of Oceanography.Commissioned in 1959, the command is headquartered with the Naval Headquarters (NHQ) in Karachi, Sindh, and directly reported to Naval Surface Fleet (NFS). The command is mandate to conduct studies on hydrographic surveys of coastal and offshore waters of Pakistan, and publishing nautical charts and relevant publications. The command is commanded by one-star rank naval officer— a Commodore— who is designated as the Hydrographer of Pakistan Navy (HPN). The Hydrographer of Pakistan Navy acted and served as the chief naval hydrographer and consults and guide Chief of Naval Staff (CNS) on important matters of oceanographic science and technology. The current commander and Hydrographer of Pakistan Navy is CDRE Muhammad Arshad. The command is directly affiliated with International Hydrographic Organization and International Maritime Organization charged to deal and guide the United Nations with subjects related to Hydrography, Oceanography and safety of life at sea. The command is notable for providing its integral establishment for the planning and development of Pakistan Antarctic Programme and played an influential role in setting up the parameters, goals of research and development, technical direction for the Polar Research Cell of the Antarctic programme in 1990s.Riiser-Larsen Sea
The Riiser-Larsen Sea is one of the marginal seas located in the Southern Ocean off East Antarctica and south of the Indian Ocean. It is delimited Astrid Ridge in the west and the Gunnerus Ridge and the Kainanmaru Bank in the east.
It is bordered by the Lazarev Sea to the west and the Cosmonauts Sea to the east, or between 14°E and 30°E. Its northern border is defined to be the 65th parallel south. The name, proposed by the Soviet Union, was never officially approved by the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO).
To the south of this area lies the Princess Astrid Coast and Princess Ragnhild Coast of Queen Maud Land. In the western part is the Lazarev Ice Shelf, and further east are Erskine Iceport and Godel Iceport, and the former Belgian Roi-Baudouin Station.Sea of the Hebrides
The Sea of the Hebrides () is a portion of the North Atlantic Ocean, located off the coast of western Scotland, separating the mainland and the northern Inner Hebrides islands (to the east) from the southern Outer Hebrides islands (to the west). To the north, the Sea of the Hebrides joins The Minch.The Sea of the Hebrides forms part of the Inner Seas off the West Coast of Scotland, as defined by the International Hydrographic Organization, and part of the Seas west of Scotland as far as fisheries management is concerned.Somov Sea
Somov Sea (Russian: Море Сомова, More Somova) was a proposed name for part of the Southern Ocean. It would be located north of the easternmost part of the Antarctic subcontinent East Antarctica, north of Oates Coast, Victoria Land, and of George V Coast, between 150° and 170° East. West of it would be the D'Urville Sea. East of Cape Adare, at 170°14' East, is the Ross Sea.The name was first proposed by the Russians for the 2002 International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) draft. This draft was never approved by the IHO (or any other organization), and the 1953 IHO document (which does not contain the name) remains currently in force. Leading geographic authorities and atlases do not use the name, including the 2014 10th edition World Atlas from the United States' National Geographic Society and the 2014 12th edition of the British Times Atlas of the World. But Soviet and Russian-issued map do.The Somov Sea would have an area of 1,150,000 km² and be up to 3000 meters deep.The Balleny Islands are 240 km north of the mainland coast here.
The Somov Sea would be named in honor of Russian oceanologist and polar explorer Mikhail Somov (1908-1973), who between 1955 and 1957 was the commander of the first Soviet Antarctic Expedition.St Margaret's at Cliffe
St. Margaret's at Cliffe is a three-part village situated just off the coast road between Deal and Dover in Kent, England. The centre of the village is about ¾ mile (1 km) from the sea with the residential area of Nelson Park further inland and St Margaret's Bay situated along and below the cliffs north of South Foreland.
Channel swimmers and submarine telephone cables start from St Margaret's Bay. At the north end of the bay is Leathercote Point (sometimes spelt Leathercoat Point or Lethercote Point), where there is a war memorial commemorating the Dover Patrol. According to the International Hydrographic Organization, Leathercote Point marks the western end of the line which defines the divide between the North Sea and the English Channel, the opposite end being at the Walde Lighthouse near Calais.