Aug 11, Colombo: Sri Lanka Navy, with the aim to provide better hydrographic data in association with the National Aquatic Resources Research and Development Agency (NARA), has established its new Hydrographic Office in Mattakkuliya in Colombo.
The new facility was opened Thursday under the patronage of Minister of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Mahinda Amaraweera and Commander of the Navy, Vice Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne.
The Sri Lanka Navy Hydrographic Service teamed up with the National Aquatic Resources Research and Development Agency (NARA) on 21st June 2016, enabling both entities to enhance the ongoing nautical charting scheme for Sri Lanka in a more effective and efficient manner, through the use of advanced technological solutions.
Presently there are 20 'A' grade and 15 'B' grade Hydrographic Surveyors who are performing duties temporarily absorbed into the Navy Hydrographic Service. In addition 85 naval personnel have also been attached to the Navy Hydrographic Service as assistants to Surveyors.
As per the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), an international maritime treaty, Sri Lanka is bound to affirm the navigational security of the vessels frequenting in the Sri Lankan territorial waters. Apart from that drafting of navigational charts and updating them remain to be a responsibility of the Sri Lanka Navy Hydrographic Service. However, navigational charts drafted as early as the 18th and 19th century by the British, are yet in use for navigational purposes.
Drafting its own nautical charts and updating of them will save a large sum of foreign income and such valuable data can draw a considerable amount of foreign currency for the country. The new office established at NARA will also open up such avenues in due course.
Sri Lanka Navy Hydrographic Service expects to provide quality hydrographic data in support of decision making towards sustainable development, protection and safe use of Sri Lanka’s maritime domain.