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Ministry of Housing & Lands
Ministry of Housing & Lands>Hydrography Unit

Hydrography Unit

About Hydrographic Unit


Need for Hydrography

Hydrographic Surveys

Contact Us

Notices to Mariners

Sale of Navigational Charts

Contract Survey


About the Hydrographic Unit

The Ministry of Housing and Lands takes responsibility for hydrographic surveying and nautical charting in Mauritius. In order to develop hydrographic infrastructure and expertise, Hydrographic Unit was set up at the ministry in 2013. Being nodal agency for hydrography, the unit has capacity to survey coastal areas critical for shipping and surface navigation, carry out underwater search operations for wreck/obstruction detection and survey extremely shallow lagoons surrounding Mauritius. In addition, the unit also provides hydrographic support to Ministries and agencies dealing with ocean related matters. Under assistance provided by the Government of India, Commander Pradeep Singh from Indian Navy is supervising the unit. 

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Mauritius and India further strengthens the hydrographic services in Mauritius. The MoU provides for development and cooperation in the field of hydrography and assistance in the production of navigational charts, training of staff and developing expertise in the field.





To provide credible hydrographic services in Mauritius for efficient & safe maritime transport, management of coastal zone, exploration & exploitation of marine resources, tourism, environmental protection and scientific research. To create organised database of bathymetric data through surveys for production of nautical charts. Build indigenous capacity in hydrographic surveying, provide hydrographic support to outer islands (Rodrigues & Agalega), strengthen Maritime Safety Information Services Framework and meet deep sea survey requirements through international collaboration.

Need for Hydrography

Hydrography is the branch of applied sciences which deals with the measurement and description of physical features of oceans, seas, coastal areas, lakes and rivers, as well as with the prediction of their change over time, for the primary purpose of safety of navigation and in support of all other marine activities, including economic development, security and defence, scientific research, and environmental protection.
Covering nearly three-quarters of the earth’s surface, marine and coastal waters are the earth’s largest and most vital resource, influencing global energy cycles and biological processes upon which all life depends. Concurrently, ocean and coastal waters serve as the most efficient and hence economical means to move goods. Ultimately the economic and social well-being, including domestic production and competition in the global market, affordability of goods and services, and national security, are dependent on a country’s ability to maintain efficient and safe navigation routes into territorial waters where well managed ports and support infrastructure keep waterborne commerce and tourism flowing. 
This safe navigation requires an accurate and up to date navigational chart, the basic and indispensable instrument of marine navigation. The navigational chart is an end product of a Hydrographic survey and here in lies the importance of Hydrographic surveying.
Furthermore, Hydrographic surveying is not restricted to the production of navigational charts only. Any developmental activity in a marine environment, either inland or offshore, must be preceded by a detailed hydrographic survey. Some important applications of Hydrography are as follows:-
Production of Navigation charts and allied nautical publications
Port design, development and maintenance
Dredging operations
Construction of offshore structure
Offshore oil and mineral exploration
Offshore pipeline and cable laying operations
Coastal Zone Management
Maritime Boundary Delimitation
Offshore scientific research
Inland navigation and flood management measures, including de-silting of dams and other inland water bodies
National security, border protection and humanitarian support
Further information regarding the need for hydrographic services may be obtained here.

Hydrographic Surveys

Hydrographic Surveys undertaken by Indian Naval Survey Ships

Assistance of the Indian Authorities has been obtained under the provisions of the MoU to carry out hydrographic surveys in Mauritius waters.  For this purpose, Indian Navy Survey Ships have visited Mauritius on nine occasions, and successfully completed some 27 hydrographic surveys.
Surveys Undertaken by the Hydrographic Unit
Since inception, the hydrographic unit has continued its incessant march towards charting the waters in Mauritius and building the indigenous capacity for hydrographic surveying. Few of the surveys that have been undertaken by the Unit till now are as follows:-
(a)           Hydrographic Survey of Port Louis Harbour and Approaches.
Owing to numerous changes due to large-scale development in harbour area, extension of the container terminal and creation of additional facilities, a detailed survey of the harbour was carried out. Based on the survey, a block correction for the chart was issued by National Hydrographic Office (NHO), India.

(b)  Survey of Grand Baie & Rivière Noire.          
Surveys of navigable passes in lagoons at Grand Baie and Riviere Noire were carried out to prepare master plan for management and zoning of lagoons for tourism activities.  

(c)       Survey of Construction of Jetty.  
Survey of Mahebourg Fish Landing Station for construction of new jetty.

(d)           Survey of Continental Shelf-off Rodrigues. 
The unit coordinated Survey of continental shelf off Rodrigues by INS Sarvekshak from 11 March to 14 April 2015 to support our claim for extended continental shelf to the United Nation Commission on Legal Continental Shelf (UNCLCS).
(e)           Delineation of HWL of Mainland Mauritius.
Delineation of entire High Water Line of mainland Mauritius (325 km) was completed in November 2015. The data supersedes the existing high water data that dates back to 1967.  
(f)           Check Survey of Inner Port Louis Harbour.
Check survey of inner Port Louis harbour was carried out in June and August 2015 to investigate shallow soundings and collect latest bathymetry for safe turning and maneuvering of vessels in the area.
(g)           Survey of Passes around Mauritius.
Based on requests from various stakeholders, survey of 78 passes around mainland Mauritius is in progress. Out of the identified 78 passes, survey of 09 passes have been completed.

Notices to Mariners
      Click the link for Notices to Mariners.
Click here for Reporting Navigational Dangers / Changes observed at Sea by Mariners
Sale of Navigational Charts 
In April 2009, a protocol for the sale of navigational chart was signed with the Government of India. Till date seven navigational charts have been produced by Indian National Hydrographic Office (INHO). The list of charts is as follows:-
Sheet No.
Sheet Description
Date of Publication
Approaches to Cargados & Carajos Shoals
March 2014
Mathurin Harbour
November 2012
Approaches to Mathurin Harbour
May 2013
Grand Bay and Grand Riviere Noire Bay
July 2010
Grand Port
July 2013
Agalega Islands
May 2013
(INT 7739)
Port Louis and Approaches
December 2014
The above charts are on sale at 33 US Dollars at the Cartography Section during office hours. The address of the Cartography Section is:
Ministry of Housing and Lands
Level 3, Ebene Tower,
Plot 52, Cybercity, EBENE.
Tel: 468 1755, Fax: 454 6608
A catalogue of Paper Charts and Electronic Navigational Charts (ENCs) was released on the occasion of World Hydrography Day-2016 on 22 June 2016. The catalogue aims to inform all stakeholders in Mauritius about availability of nautical products and the source of procurement.  The pdf document can be printed back to back on A-3 size paper to form a four page (A4 size) catalogue.

For downloading the chart catalogue, please click here

Contract Surveys
The Hydrographic Unit is fully geared to undertake surveys on contract basis for non-government organisations in Mauritius. The survey will be conducted on payment basis.  An application form for request of survey is available on our website.
 Application Form to undertake Hydrographic Surveys 

Contact Us
Commander Pradeep Singh 
Officer in Charge
Hydrographic Unit 
Ministry of Housing and Lands 
Level 5, Ebene Tower, Cybercity 
Republic of Mauritius 
Ph +2304681773
Mob +230 58898253
Fax +230 4681173