National Hydrographic Office

General

Antigua and Barbuda is a contracting government to the SOLAS Convention, and despite being faced with resource constraints and other militating factors, it is committed to meeting its obligations under SOLAS regulations V/4 and V/9 pertaining to navigational warnings and hydrographic services respectively.

Mindful of this commitment, Antigua and Barbuda became an associate member of the International Hydrographic Organization Meso American and Caribbean Hydrographic Commission (MACHC) in October 2006, to use this forum as a vehicle to enhance the delivery of its national hydrographic services.

ADOMS is the authority through which Antigua and Barbuda ensures compliance with SOLAS. Through ADOMS, the government maintains active links with the international community through the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) and its regional commission.

The establishment of a National Hydrographic Office symbolizes Antigua and Barbuda’s dedication to playing an integral role in improving navigational safety through the fulfillment of its obligations under the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the IHO initiatives.

National Hydrographic Office of Antigua and Barbuda

Antigua and Barbuda’s National Hydrographic Office was established within the Department of Marine Services and Merchant Shipping (ADOMS) on June 21st, 2010 with the following roles and functions:

  1. Coordinate maritime surveys in coastal waters and ports within the archipelagic jurisdiction of Antigua and Barbuda. The collected georeferenced data relates to:
    • Depths of the sea in areas of national interest (including all potential hazards to navigation – considering present and future ship’s drafts and other marine activities.
    • Coastal features, including man-made infrastructure for maritime navigation, aids to navigation and port configuration.
    • The nature of the sea floor.
    • Tides and currents.
    • Physical properties of the water column.
  1. Monitor and report changes within the coastline of the State.
  2. Monitor and register all marine works carried out within the State’s jurisdiction.
  3. Amalgamate the works of the Government Survey Department, Fisheries Division, Antigua and Barbuda Port Authority, the Department of Environment, the Ministry of Agriculture, and the Development Control Authority, as they affect the maritime space.
  4. Deliver timely and up-to-date information and hydrographic data to the appropriate regulating or responsible international agencies, in accordance with the contracting State’s obligation.
  5. Liaise with the United Kingdom Hydrographic Office (UKHO) regarding nautical cartography (both paper and electronic) and the production of nautical charts for the harbours and ports of Antigua and Barbuda and their approaches.
  6. Manage all hydrographic data and functions.  Hydrographic data is mostly used for:
    • Maritime Navigation and traffic control.
    • Naval Operations
    • Coastal Management.
    • Civil Defence.
    • Marine Environment Preservation.
    • Exploitation of marine resources and laying of submarine cable/pipelines.
    • Delimitation of maritime boundaries.
    • Scientific studies related to the sea and near-shore zone.
  7. Enhance the adherence of the State in honouring its obligations under SOLAS and other maritime related Conventions.