Malta Hydrographic Office
The Malta Hydrographic Office (MHO) continued to provide support to the Ports and Yachting Directorate (PYD) through the execution of hydrographic surveys, the issuing of Notice to Mariners and Navigational warnings through Malta Radio, providing advice and development of marine navigational charts amongst other issues. The Hydrographic Office is the National Coordinator for Maritime Safety Information promulgation for the central Mediterranean. This activity is also made possible with the full cooperation of the Armed Forces of Malta. Through a standing agreement, Malta continues to broadcast Tunisian notices to Mariners as coordinated by the MHO.
The Malta Hydrographic Office is a member of a number of the International Hydrographic Organisation (IHO), the Mediterranean and Black Sea High Commission (MBSHC), the International Centre for Electronic Navigational Charts (IC-ENC) the International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities (IALA) and other other various hydrographic and surveying entities. It also has a standing agreement with the United Kingdom Hydrographic Office (UKHO).
The work on the production of Electronic Navigation Chart (ENC) continued throughout 2022. Once produced, the charts are submitted to IC-ENC and after verification will be released for sale. Furthermore, this Office continuously sends data and chart corrections to the UKHO for Navigation Chart updates.
During 2021 the MHO has completed for draft proofing and preparation for verification, Electronic Navigation Charts for Bahar ic-Caghaq and Bajja ta` Marsascala and updated the paper charts for Il-Fliegu ta bejn Malta u Ghawdex, Valletta Ports and Il-Port tal-Imgarr in Gozo. In addition the unit has undertaken 8 Hydrographic surveys in various locations around Malta some of which were requested by private entities..
Another important task undertaken by the MHO during 2022 was issuing Maritime Safety information that included 222 Local Notices to Mariners, 44 Coastal Notices and 42 Navigational Warnings. Other than these the office has also issued 248 Coastal Warnings and Notices to Mariners for Tunisia in line with the bilateral Agreement reached between the two countries.
The issue of such Notices remains an important function of the Port and Yachting Directorate as these serve to improve safety of navigation especially when taking into consideration the increase in number of locally registered craft and licenced boat owners/operators.