IHO and NOAA Reaffirm their Commitment to Ocean Data with a New MoU

Published: 16/05/2023 - 11:06

During the 2023 International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) Assembly, Secretary General Dr. Mathias Jonas announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with the United States’ National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). NOAA has supported the IHO since 1990 by hosting the IHO Data Center for Digital Bathymetry (DCDB), an online, open-access database that stores ocean depth data from around the world.

With the signing of this MoU, both parties are reaffirming their commitment to the international community through this key element of the global data infrastructure.

Ocean depth data is used to generate a precise image of the seabed, including features such as canyons, seamounts, volcanoes etc. These physical elements have an impact on a variety of ocean processes like currents and ocean circulation as well as habitats for marine species. Ultimately, better data on the seabed topography helps improve climate change models, refine initiatives to protect biodiversity or address pollution, and generally speaking, supports informed decision-making.

Dr. Mathias Jonas of the IHO and Rear Admiral Benjamin Evans of NOAA (USA) celebrate the signing of the MoU onboard the USNS Bruce C. Heezen which came to Monaco for the Assembly. Photo: IHO

Dr. Rick Spinrad, NOAA Administrator and Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere, and IHO Secretary General Dr. Mathias Jonas signed the MoU. During the IHO Assembly, the signing of the MoU was recognized by Dr. Jonas and Rear Admiral Benjamin Evans, U.S. National Hydrographer and Director of NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey.

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Last modified: 16/05/2023 - 12:52