MAJ Host Regional Electronic Navigational Charting Workshop


A two-week regional training workshop on basic electronic navigational charting (ENC) and electronic navigational chart production is now underway at the Caribbean Maritime Institute (CMI), Palisadoes Park.
Hosted by the Maritime Authority of Jamaica (MAJ), Jamaica’s focal point to the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the workshop aims to strengthen the region’s hydrographic capabilities, by providing an understanding of electronic navigational charting and the associated standards.
It also aims to explain the production phases, in order to fully understand the complete process of ENC production.
IMO’s Regional Maritime Adviser, Colin Young, in his address to participants from 13 Caribbean and Latin American countries, explained that the revised chapter V of the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Convention of July, 2002 makes the provision and maintenance of hydrographic services all but a binding requirement for signatories to the convention.
He noted that the region suffers from a relatively limited state of hydrographic capabilities, while highlighting that “accurate hydrographic surveys and up-to-date charts are pillars of safe navigation”.
Pointing to the importance of hydrographic surveys in the region, Mr. Young explained that over 30% of the world’s crude oil passes through the Caribbean, home to over 50% of the world’s cruise shipping. In addition, he noted, the region is affected by hurricanes and the storms can which leave a trail of devastation on the islands and their coasts.
“For these reasons, it is crucial that Contracting Governments undertake hydrographic surveys as and when required,” Mr. Young said.
Director General of the Maritime Authority of Jamaica, Rear Admiral Peter Brady, reiterated the importance of the workshop and its impact in boosting the knowledge of those in the region responsible for the productions of the charts.
“Seafarers rely on the producers of navigational charts for accurate information regarding the nature of channels, the placement of navigational aids and accurate markings of shipping hazards, to safeguard navigation and protection of the marine environment from accidents at sea,” he said.
The workshop, which ends September 17, is being funded by the IMO in conjunction with the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO).
Coure facilitators are Cartographic Training Officer Derek Aldridge, and ENC Training Officer, Ken Blagdon, both of the Hydrographic Office in the United Kingdom.

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