Surveys of Jamaica’s Seabed to Help Future Dredging Projects

The National Land Agency (NLA) and Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that will facilitate hydrographic surveys of the seabed in the country’s territorial waters, the Jamaica Information Service (JIS) reports. 

The agreement will be executed under the auspices of the National Hydrographic Committee (NHC), which is chaired by Director General of the Maritime Authority of Jamaica (MAJ), Rear Admiral Peter Brady, said JIC.

Under the MOU, the JDF is providing a vessel for the mounting of hydrographic survey equipment, provided by the United Kingdom Hydrographic Office (UKHO) through the Commonwealth Marine Economics Program, to facilitate the underwater surveys by the NLA.

Acting Senior Director of Surveys at the NLA, Major Patrick Aiken, commented: “The outcome of the surveys can be used for numerous activities such as in determining accuracy during a dredging exercise.

We can use it for the purpose of getting the elevation of the seabed so that dredging can be done to allow deep-hull ships to enter the harbour without being stuck in mud or silt. After the dredging is completed, we would again survey the ocean floor to see that we have achieved the desired depth,” he further outlined.

According to Rear Admiral Brady, in the last two years, Jamaica embarked on the updating of the hydrographic charts in key maritime developmental areas to better facilitate coastal navigation marine infrastructural works and other marine activities, through assistance from the UK Government.

Story by Peta-Gay Hodges