5 Mar 2018 - Key areas of Tonga’s seabed approaching the harbor in Nuku’alofa, are currently being mapped by state-of-the-art multibeam sonar equipment chartered by the UK Hydrographic Office (UKHO) to update nautical charts and publications. According to UKHO, accurate and up-to-date charts for safer navigation may boost Tonga's blue economy.
This means more accurate and up-to-date charts for safer navigation may give Tonga’s blue economy a boost in the form of larger and wider range of ships, including more cruise ships, being attracted to the Kingdom. It will also improve the efficiency for cargo ships that import and export goods.
Information on seafloor features and depths as well as tidal observations will be taken.
The mapping survey also ensures Tonga meets its international maritime responsibilities, including the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Convention, elements of the Implementation of the IMO Instruments Code (IIIC), and assist in infrastructure planning and development.
The UKHO survey is part of the Commonwealth Marine Economies Programme, supporting sustainable growth by making the most of natural economic and environmental resources of Small Island Developing States that are part of the Commonwealth.