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The Freeport of Riga Authority was represented at the biggest hydrography event HYDRO 2016

Foto: A. Kozlovskis

Last week the Freeport of Riga Sea Channel Service representatives took part in the annual IFHS Hydrographic Conference and Exhibition “HYDRO 2016” in Rostock-Warnemünde. The Freeport of Riga Authority is the member of the International Federation of Hydrographic Societies (IFHS) and regularly participates in HYDRO conferences with the aim to become familiar with the topical issues in the field of hydrography and to ensure the Riga port hydrographic measurements’ compliance with the highest international standards. International conference and hydrographic equipment exhibition in Rostock was attended by over 300 participants from 35 countries, representing all hydrography related areas - ports, national maritime administrations from various countries, hydrographic equipment manufacturers, underwater mining industry and research organizations.

This year's conference highlighted the importance of hydrography, which will grow due to rapid globalization and intensified cargo flows in the world's oceans. Shipping routes and ports are becoming increasingly congested, resulting in increased security risks, therefore the importance of accurate hydrographic data for maritime security is crucial. One of the discussion themes was development of the united international hydrographic data storage and processing system. According to the IHO data currently only 10% of the world's water areas and 50% of coastal waters have been subject to hydrographical survey. In addition, data, provided by organizations and countries, is fragmented. There is no uniform system providing hydrographic data collection, accumulation and availability. With the aim to ensure the solution it was encouraged to strengthen the role of the IHO (International Hydrographic Organization), that has already stipulated international standards for the industry, but large countries, which have developed their own standards and methods, very often do not comply with the IHO decisions. As for the new technologies aspect, the conference participants have extensively discussed use of satellites and aircraft for hydrographic measurements. Still, these methods can be applied only for survey of large water areas as well as in the framework of special conditions, and are not quite suitable for ports.

The FPRA Marine Channel Service Measurement Unit Chief Mr.Rudolfs Pundins: “The main objective of participating in the most significant world's hydrographic forum HYDRO 2016 is to get acquainted with the latest technologies and methods of hydrography in order to apply them in our daily work at the Port of Riga, making hydrograph’s work more efficient and shipping at the port of Riga more secure. We must constantly keep up with current events due to the fact that hydrography, as well as many other areas, faces very rapid development of technology. I consider that the opportunity to visit the Hydrographic equipment exhibition, which runs alongside the conference, is a very valuable one. We can explore the latest technologies and methods not only in theory, but also in practice, up to their testing on demo vessels.”