KARACHI:In his message on the World Hydrography Day, Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Muhammad Amjad Khan Niazi, said Sunday that World Hydrography Day is celebrated worldwide on 21 June every year to acknowledge the work done in the field of hydrography in support of safe navigation at open seas and ports.

“Every year a specific theme related to contribution of hydrography in world maritime affairs is promulgated by International Hydrographic Organization. Theme of WHO for this year “One hundred years of International cooperation in hydrography’ is designed to showcase progress in knowledge and technology over the past 100 years while celebrating the centenary of the establishment of International Hydrographic Bureau (IHB) in 1921,” he said.

The Naval chief says annual celebration of this day emphasizes importance of hydrography as it underpins almost every activity associated with the sea including safety of navigation, economic development, security and defence, environmental protection, ports and harbour construction, coastal zone management, disaster management maritime boundary delimitation etc.

“Pakistan like other coastal states is responsible for hydrographic surveys and production of nautical charts/ maps of its waters to provide accurate nautical information to the mariners. On behalf of Pakistan, the Pakistan Navy Hydrographic Department (PNHD) has fulfilled this international obligation.”

He said Pakistan is blessed with over 1000 kms of coastline along with 240,000 Sq kms of sea area within its EEZ (Exclusive Economic Zone). In 2015, PNHD along with other relevant national organizations played a vital role in approval of an additional sea area of 50.000 Sq kms by relevant UN commission. One of the PNHD’s main achievements is completion of coastal surveys and charting of complete coast of Pakistan, he said.

“This process spanned over decades. The department has significantly contributed towards development of national ports and other maritime infrastructure all along the coast. In 2019, a new survey ship ‘PNS BEHR MASAH’ with latest research equipment was inducted in PN, which has significantly enhanced the national surveying capability.”

The Naval chief says the inducted technology shall also be utilized to support CPEC related infrastructure on the coast and to ensure that maritime component of CPEC remains navigationally safe. He said Pakistan Navy celebrates this day every year to underscore the importance of hydrography towards its share in all marine and maritime related activities which are eventually contributing significantly towards our national economy.

“I urge all the maritime stakeholders to join efforts in promoting awareness regarding importance of hydrography and its related activities. The same would strongly contribute towards sustainable seas and growth of national economy through enhanced trade and utilization of marine resources,” he concluded.