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Joint Research Underway To Measure Denarau-Malolo Area

Joint Research Underway To Measure Denarau-Malolo Area
Members of the Fiji Hydrographic Services (FHS), Korea Hydrographic and Oceanographic Agency (KHOA) and staff of Plantation Island Resort on Malolo Island yesterday. Photo: WAISEA NASOKIA
July 20
11:00 2018

A joint hydrographic survey of the Denarau and Malolo Island area is currently tak­ing place. It is conducted by the Fiji Hydrographic Services (FHS), in conjunction with the Korea Hydro­graphic and Oceanographic Agen­cy (KHOA).

Hydrography is the science that measures and describes the physi­cal features of the navigable por­tion of the Earth’s surface and ad­joining coastal areas. Hydrographic surveyors study these bodies of wa­ter to see what the “floor” looks like.

The current survey is a continua­tion of the Overseas Development Assistance Project from the Repub­lic of Korea (South Korea) Govern­ment which commenced in 2016.

Fiji Hydrographic Service Direc­tor, Lieutenant-Commander Saula Tuilevuka said: “The Denarau-Malolo island approaches were identified as critical to shipping due to the concentration of shipping in the area and proximity of maritime navigational hazards.

“The route is a hot spot for pleas­ure crafts including yachts, super yachts and various recreational ac­tivities due to the booming tourism industry in the area.

“The ultimate aim of the survey is to produce an appropriate scale chart of the two areas for mariners to use when navigating in the area.”

This initiative is in direct support of the FHS’ roles in providing the necessary nautical charts and pub­lications to ensure safety of naviga­tion within Fiji’s waters.

The overall effect is expected to contribute to the tourism industry within the Nadi-Mamanuca Group.

The survey commenced during the month of May and will be complet­ed by mid-August.

The joint survey also saw the handing over of various survey equipment vital to conducting sur­veys which meet the standards of the International Hydrographic Or­ganisation (IHO).

A team of three surveyors from South Korea arrived in the coun­try in May and have been working closely with FHS staff for the dura­tion of the survey.

The processing of survey data and chart compilation will take several months, and the release of the nautical chart is scheduled for mid-2019.

The equipment handed over in­cluded a Shallow Water Multibeam Sonar, which enables full sea bot­tom coverage during surveys and a few Global Positioning Systems sets for geodetic observations.

Marine Information Technology Corp assistant manager Kim Jun Sung said: “The equipment will now allow the FHS to carry hydro­graphic surveys to the highest of standards and be on par with other hydrographic organisations around the globe.”

The Fijian Navy and Fiji Hydro­graphic Services look forward to working closely with the Korean Hydrographic and Oceanographic Agency through such initiatives to enhance the unit’s capability in terms of hydrographic survey and monitoring climate change.

Plantation Island Resort manager Niven Maharaj said: “We support this project since it will assist our country and the tourism industry, especially for marine environment sustainability.”

Edited by Jonathan Bryce

Feedback: waisean@fijisun.com.fj

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