IHO and NOAA strengthen ocean data partnership

IHO and NOAA strengthen ocean data partnership

During the recent 2023 International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) Assembly, Secretary General Dr Mathias Jonas announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the IHO and the United States’ National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). This MoU reaffirms their commitment to the global data infrastructure.

The MoU solidifies NOAA’s support for the IHO through hosting the IHO Data Center for Digital Bathymetry (DCDB), an online, open-access database storing ocean depth data worldwide. Accurate seabed imaging, including features such as canyons, seamounts and volcanoes, is crucial for understanding ocean processes, marine habitats and climate change models. The partnership facilitates improved decision-making regarding biodiversity protection, pollution mitigation and climate-related initiatives.

Dr Rick Spinrad, NOAA Administrator and Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere, and Dr Mathias Jonas, IHO Secretary General, signed the MoU during the IHO Assembly, recognized by Rear Admiral Benjamin Evans, US National Hydrographer and Director of NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey.

Dr Mathias Jonas of the IHO and Rear Admiral Benjamin Evans of NOAA celebrate the signing of the MoU onboard the USNS Bruce C. Heezen. (Image courtesy: IHO)
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