About the Baltic Sea Hydrographic Commission (BSHC)

Chair: Mr. Olavi Heinlo (Estonia)
Vice-Chair: Mr. Jānis Krastiņš (Latvia)

Members: Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Poland, Russian Federation, Sweden.
Associate Member: Lithuania

IHO Secretariat Representatives:
Dr. Mathias Jonas (IHO Secretary-General)
Assistant Director Sam HARPER

Statutes for BSHC

Link to BSHC page on the IHO web site

Link to BSHC Circular Letters on the IHO web site

The Baltic Sea Hydrographic Commission,

which is an integrant part of the International Hydrographic Organisation (IHO), promotes the technical co-operation in the domain of hydrographic surveying, marine cartography and nautical information among the neighboring countries of the Baltic Sea region.

The main objectives of the Commission are the coordination of the production of the Baltic Sea INT Charts, the coordination of hydrographic re-surveys, harmonization of chart datums, harmonization of Baltic Sea ENCs, and the exchange of information and the harmonization of practices with regard to various issues related to hydrography.

Brief History

The BSHC was established in Helsinki, Finland, on 24-26 May 1983 following a recommendation made by the Hydrographers of the Baltic Sea at a preliminary meeting in Monaco on 19 April 1982. The original initiative came from Sweden and the first Chairman was Commodore Folke Hallbjörner (Sweden). The initial activities were to agree on the BSHC Statutes, to establish the Baltic Sea INT Chart Committee, to discuss the Baltic Sea bathymetric charts, the differences between Baltic Sea coordinate systems, the distribution of printed charts, limits of territorial seas, the Baltic Sea Radio Navigational Warning system, and the IHO technical assistance programme.

Liaison with IHO

The worldwide system of Regional Hydrographic Commissions (RHCs) coordinates hydrographic activity and cooperation at the regional level. The RHCs are made up of IHO Member States together with other regional States that wish to participate. RHCs work in close harmony with the IHO to help further its ideals and program. RHCs meet at regular intervals to discuss such things as mutual hydrographic and chart production problems, plan joint survey operations, and resolve schemes for medium and large scale International Chart coverage in their regions.

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