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Need for Hydrography
Hydrographic SurveysNotices to Mariners
Sale of Navigational Charts
About the Mauritius Hydrographic Service
The Ministry of Housing and Land Use Planning takes responsibility for hydrographic surveying and nautical charting in Mauritius. In order to develop hydrographic infrastructure and expertise the 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 Ankush Sachdeva from the Government of India 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:-
Further information regarding the need for hydrographic services may be obtained here.
Hydrographic Surveys undertaken by Indian Naval Survey Ships
Cooperation 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 thirteen occasions, and successfully completed some 30 hydrographic surveys. This has resulted in the production of 10 Nautical Charts and 12 Electronic Navigation Cells.
Surveys Undertaken by the Mauritius Hydrographic Service
Since inception, the 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 are as follows:-
Survey of Passes around Mauritius
The mainland Mauritius is mostly surrounded by fringing reefs. Safe navigation through these reefs are undertaken by using passage known as passes. Out of 96 documented passes, Mauritius Hydrographic Service (MHS) has surveyed 22 passes. The bathymetric data of these surveys of passes are available at the office of MHS. The metadata of each survey is compiled as 'Compendium of the Survey of Navigable Passes of Mauritius'.
Click here for downloading the 'Compendium of the Survey of Navigable Passes of Mauritius'.
(a) Le Morne Brabant
Based on the approved charting scheme, a fresh surveys was undertaken off Le Morne Brabant with a view to publish a new navigational chart at a scale of 1:10,000. The entire survey beyond the lagoons has been undertaken using Multi beam Echo sounder to ensure 100 % coverage by the Indian Surveying Ship in December 2018. The lagoon areas have also been adequately surveyed using shallow water boats.
(b) Rodrigues Island
The Hydrographic Survey of waters around Rodrigues Island has been undertaken by the Indian surveying ship very recently. This would pave way for the publication of a new chart of Rodrigues which would replace the vintage BA Chart 715 published in 1876 and the data would also be useful for development in the maritime domain.
(c) Rodrigues Island Phase III
From 22 January to 04 February 2019, the Mauritius Hydrographic Service undertook the survey of Sea Cucumber sites and passes in Rodrigues at the request of the Commission of Environment/Rodrigues Regional Assembly and Ministry of Defence and Rodrigues.
(d) Surveys of Poudre d'Or and Anse La Raie
Surveys off Poudre d'Or have been undertaken for navigation purposes. The entire survey beyond the lagoons has been undertaken using Multi beam Echo sounder to ensure 100 % coverage in December 2018.
(e) Port Louis Harbour
Port Louis is a major harbour of Mauritius. A detailed survey was undertaken by MHS in August 2018. Based on the survey, a new edition of Port Louis Harbour chart was released on 01 November 2018.
(f) Surveys for Beach Authority
The beach authority has projected a requirement to survey Beaches around Mauritius in order to demarcate swimming zones for the safety and security of the beach users. So far, 06 sites have been surveyed. The surveys are being undertaken on a progressive basis and has started in August 2018.
Survey of Lake in Botanical Garden
A bathymetric survey of the lake in the SSR Botanical garden was undertaken in September 2018 to estimate the volume of water the lake.
(h) Survey off Bois des Amourettes
At the request of the National Coast Guard, a survey was undertaken off Bois Des Amourettes in September 2018 in order to determine suitable mooring sites for NCG's Fast Interceptor Boat.
Survey off Deux Freres
At the request of the National Coast Guard and Ministry of Tourism, the survey off Deux Freres has been undertaken in April and May 2019 in order to facilitate the navigation of deeper draughts NCG crafts in the lagoon off Deux Freres and for Tourism purposes.
Resources with the MHS
Notices to Mariners
Click the link for Notices to Mariners:
Click here for Reporting Navigational Dangers / Changes observed at Sea by Mariners
Click here to download the Merchant Shipping Notice 1 of 2019 on the use of appropriate Nautical Charts for Mauritius waters
Sale of Navigational Charts
In April 2009, a protocol for the sale of navigational chart was signed with the Government of India. Till date, eleven navigational charts have been produced by Indian National Hydrographic Office (INHO). The list of charts is as follows:-
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 Land Use Planning
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 has been updated for charts and ENCs up to September 2021. The catalogue aims at informing 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