World Hydrography Day (WHD) is celebrated worldwide on 21 Jun every year with the aim of giving suitable publicity to the work of International Hydrographic Organisation (IHO), urging all States to work with the organisation to promote safe navigation in the open seas, ports and other protected marine areas. Every year a specific theme, related to the contribution of hydrography in world maritime affairs is selected by IHO and this year’s theme is Bathymetry – the foundation for sustainable seas, oceans and waterways’. Annual celebration of this day emphasizes the importance of hydrography as it underpins almost every activity associated with the sea including safety of navigation, economic development, security & defence, scientific research, environmental protection, construction of ports & harbours, resource exploitation, integrated coastal zone management, disaster management and maritime boundary delimitation etc.
Pakistan is a responsible coastal state blessed with over 1000 Kms of coastline and around 290,000 Sq Km sea area. More than 90% of Pakistan’s trade by volume and 70% by value is carried through the sea. As per United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), Pakistan is entrusted with the responsibility for hydrographic surveys and production of nautical charts/ maps of its waters in order to furnish accurate nautical information to the mariners. Fulfilling its international obligations, Pakistan Navy Hydrographic Department produces the requisite nautical information and digital charts to ensure safe navigation through the busy shipping lanes within our Area of Responsibility in the North Arabian Sea.
Pakistan Navy celebrates this day every year to underscore the importance of hydrography in all marine and maritime related activities that contribute significantly towards our national economy. On this day, Pakistan Navy reiterates its commitment towards ensuring safe navigation and sustainable economic activities in the maritime sector. I urge all the maritime stakeholders to join hands in raising awareness regarding the importance of hydrographic related activities towards sustainable growth of our national economy through enhanced trade and exploitation of marine resources.