Project to map UK seabed areas

Posted: 07/04/2011 in all marine news

Hydro International –

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA, UK) and six partner organizations launched the Ireland, Northern Ireland and Scotland Hydrographic Survey (INIS Hydro) project at the Belfast Harbor Commissioners Office on Monday 4th July 2011.

INIS Hydro, which receives GBP3.2 million from the European Union’s INTERREG IVA Programme, will produce a standardized hydrographic survey specification and accurate high-resolution bathymetric datasets for seven important seabed areas to the east of Ireland/Northern Ireland and off the west coast of Scotland.

A total of 1400 km2 will be surveyed by the partner organization’s research vessels fitted with multi-beam sonar technology.

High-quality bathymetric information is essential for producing accurate navigational charts and for the effective management and conservation of the marine environment. Despite recent technological advances in high-resolution seabed mapping, some ‘current’ nautical charts still include data from the mid-19th century when depth was measured by lowering lead lines to the seabed at wide intervals.

INIS Hydro will survey the Firth of Lorn and the SW Islay Renewable area in Scotland, Dundalk Bay (shallow and deep) in the Republic of Ireland, and Carlingford Lough and Approaches, Dundrum Bay and parts of the Mourn Coast in Northern Ireland. These areas were selected for their environmental significance, suitability for offshore renewable development, and in all cases to update nautical charts.

The project will thus improve safety at sea and provide supportive data to enable effective marine conservation and management, eg relating to fisheries, marine protected areas and marine renewable energy development.

Full story…

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