The IHO welcomes its 98th Member State

Published: 17/05/2022 - 14:23

The International Hydrographic Organization is increasing its ranks with the accession of Albania as its 98th Member State.

Thanks to this new status, the country will benefit from the organization's resources and expertise in order to improve safety of navigation and contribute to the development of its marine activities. Albania will also join the Mediterranean and Black Seas Hydrographic Commission – MBSHC - as a full member, having been an observer in the regional commission for many years.

Albania has a complex coast along the Adriatic Sea, with rocky areas and secluded coves. Its largest port, Durrës, which is often referred to as “the eternal city”, was founded over 2500 years ago. This coastline provides it with an important means of transport but also provides opportunities for tourism and activities centred on the sea. Hydrographic data is necessary for safe transportation but also to develop some of these activities.

Albania's coast along the Adriatic Sea can be rocky in some areas and have secluded beaches.
© E. Jashari, Unsplash 

Albania has been collaborating regionally and internationally on the topic of hydrography by providing navigational, hydrographic and oceanographic services and products in its waters of national jurisdiction. The country also monitors and maintains safety thanks to navigational lights within the Albanian territorial waters in accordance with international standards. It already produces paper and ENC charts covering its coastline.

In the last 10 years, Albania has increased its bilateral and regional relations in hydrography and cartography. It has benefitted from capacity-building programmes thanks to Norway which provided support and equipment for the establishment of the Albanian Hydrographic Service in 2020, and Italy, to which it continues to send representatives to attend Hydrography Category A and B courses, as well as practical courses on the production of ENC charts. At a regional level, Albania has benefitted from the regional Capacity-Building programme organised by the MBSHC, through in-depth courses on data management, new technologies used in hydrography and the S-100 universal data standard. With its accession to the IHO, Albania will be able to benefit from the full range of capacity-building and training activities, including the IHO-sponsored courses on Hydrography and Cartography Category A and B.

By improving its sea survey capacity, Albania will be able to increase the use of its territorial waters and EEZ. Hydrographic information has a wide variety of applications, such as to develop marine renewable energy projects, where operators need information related to the topography of the seabed or the strength and regularity of currents. Industries like fishing and aquaculture are also dependent upon environmental factors such as temperature, salinity, and currents - information which detailed hydrographic surveys record.

By improving its sea survey capacity, Albania will be able to increase the use of its territorial waters and EEZ, as hydrographic information provides the basis for many marine activities. © Shant Dem, Unsplash


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Last modified: 18/05/2022 - 15:35