IHO Member States gather for Council meeting

Published: 25/10/2021 - 09:27

IHO Member States gathered this week as part of the 5th meeting of the Council. Presided by Geneviève Béchard of Canada, participants were able to take stock on progress and discuss next steps on several key actions such as the roadmap for S-100 implementation and the future conversion from S-57 to S-101 ENCs.



The more than 90 participants, representing 30 IHO Member States and stakeholders gathered in a hybrid meeting format. Many discussions focused on the IHO Universal Data Model, S-100 and the steps towards its implementation. Several Member States provided updates on their early tests of S-100 products.  The Republic of Korea presented its collaboration with the USA, and how they are using state-of-the-art technology such as eye trackers to assess how users take in information. The UK and France presented their S-100 ECDIS collaboration, a 3 phase project which will include data production, data distribution, as well as sea trials to test displays. The representative from France highlighted how they chose a complex area around the Channel Islands for the testing, during which they will engage end-users such as ferries.  Not all countries will be able to make the migration to S-100 at the same pace, and all participants were conscious that support needed to be given to help Member States during this transition.

Thomas Dehling of Germany, in his report on IRCC, acknowledged the potential cost for Member States to switch to S-101 ENCs, but also underlined the advantages: decreased environmental impact thanks to better fuel efficiency etc. He highlighted progress in the hydrographic data coverage of the ocean, and suggested the future focus should be on getting governments, institutions and private industry to share bathymetric data.

“By switching to solutions which allow us to integrate all marine data together, this will form the technical basis to expand hydrographic activities from the “what does the sea floor look like” to “what is in the water? This will help our knowledge of the ocean increase exponentially”.

Mathias Jonas, Secretary-General of the IHO

Magnus Wallhagen of Sweden provided an update on the work of HSSC including dual fuel mode in future S-100 ECDIS. He discussed the plan to update IMO´s ECDIS guidance and performance standards by working closely with various stakeholders and affected regulatory bodies.

Within the IHO’s broader work for more equity between men and women, the Council agreed that gender-inclusive language should be used in all new publications going forward. Canada, the USA and the UK offered to support this effort, which will also include a review of UN guiding principles to be used once approved.

Currently, 30 IHO Member States sit on the Council (https://iho.int/uploads/user/About%20IHO/Council/basicDocuments/Council_Members_2020_2023.pdf]

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Last modified: 25/10/2021 - 11:25