Cayman sends delegation to UK seminar

    Members of the UK Hydrographic Office and delegates from 10 British Overseas Territories, including the Cayman Islands, gather in London to take part in the Overseas Territories Seabed Mapping Programme this week.

    The Department of Lands and Survey has sent a pair of representatives to the United Kingdom to participate in a five-day seminar centered around safe maritime trade in the Overseas Territories.

    Rupert Vasquez, director of the Department of Lands and Survey, and geomatician Darren Kelly attended the beginning of the conference on Monday and will return to Cayman over the weekend.

    The seminar, hosted by the U.K. Hydrographic Office, is part of the government’s Overseas Territories Seabed Mapping Programme and will focus on international regulations. Maritime safety information training, best practice governance and maritime law will all be studied in depth at the seminar.

    Representatives from Anguilla, Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, Cayman, the Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Montserrat, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, St. Helena, and the Turks and Caicos Islands are participating.

    According to a press release from the Hydrographic Office, the global ocean economy is expected to double from $1.5 trillion in 2010 to $3 trillion in 2030, and the Overseas Territories will need to support maritime safety and to create opportunities to increase trade and tourism.

    “This hydrographic seminar provides a unique opportunity to assemble an array of delegates from across the world, with a shared vision for using marine geospatial data to unlock safety, prosperity and sustainability,” said Kerrie Howard, hydrographic program manager for the UKHO, in the release.

    Feedback from the seminar will complement additional work carried out by the UKHO in collecting geospatial data, including bathymetry, tidal and a range of seabed features in each territory’s marine environment. The data, collected through 11 surveys in six territories, will support navigation through the creation of charts, and also give authorities information to support disaster planning.