What does safety of navigation
mean to SHN?
Safety of navigation
is that part of the art and science of navigation which is devoted to the study of the
geographic environment dealing with the manoeuvre of vessels and the ships route for
the intended voyage; and the provision of all necessary information and nautical aids that
may be needed for a proper preparation and safe execution of a voyage plan.
Our Office provides safety of navigation
services by means of:
charts, sailing directions, list of lights, marine signals, tide tables, nautical almanac,
and other nautical publications according to international regulations.
surveys and technical studies aimed towards a better knowledge of the marine environment
and the consequences of man made structures and/or anthropogenic activities on navigation.
||Update of information on
navigation issues through Notices to Mariners.
wave height forecasts.
on location of marine signals and, technical advice on nautical instruments.
The International Hydrographic Organisation embraces a significant number
of Hydrographic Offices all around the globe. The importance of Hydrographic Offices has
been recognised by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), a specialised agency of
the United Nations on maritime matters with more than 160 UN member sates, whose two
principal objectives are the improvement of safety at sea and the prevention of pollution
from ships. SOLAS 74 together with its protocols of 1978 and 1988 - IMOs most
important international convention - has been implemented by our nation by means of laws
22079, 22502, and 24213. New Chapter V of this convention contains a set of rules, which
will improve safety of navigation. In particular, rules 9 and 13 state clear
responsibilities for governments who have Hydrographic Services within their organic
structure. In this sense, Governments internationally bound by the SOLAS convention,
should provide their Hydrographic Services with all the necessary means to execute
hydrographic surveys; prepare, issue and update navigation charts and nautical
publications (list of lights, sailing directions, tide tables, etc.), and to develop any
other related activities, in order to ensure a safe navigation to mariners.
As in many other
countries, our Hydrographic Office is a branch within the Secretariat of Planning of the Ministry of Defence, as services
provided are not only used for safety of navigation but for defence purposes.
In our pages you
will find many of the services rendered by us. Some of them are in full detail and others
just outlined, in which case those concerned can contact us for a more complete
information. Additionally, you will find scientific information and references to several
research programs as a contribution to our national maritime affairs and the international
We are permanently
seeking to improve our services and products. Therefore, your comments and suggestions are
On behalf of our staff, thank you for visiting