The International Hydrographic Bureau, the executive agency for the Monaco-based inter-governmental International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) representing the interests of 85 member states, is to be henceforth known as the IHO Secretariat, effective 8 November.

Robert Ward, the British-born former Deputy Hydrographer of Australia, will continue to head the renamed agency as its Secretary-General; subordinate directors also continuing in elected office are Mustafa Iptes of Turkey and Gilles Bessero, France.

The new arrangement follows recent conclusion of a collaborative agreement between the IHO and the International Seabed Authority (ISA) in Kingston, Jamaica under which both organisations are to regularly consult each other on matters of common interest. Exchange of bathymetric survey data, development of compatible digital input for nautical charting requirements and global consistency in the treatment of bathymetric data covering ISA contract areas are among key planned objectives.

Founded in 1994 with UN Observer status, ISA’s main remit covers organisation and control of all mineral-related activities in international seabed areas beyond the limits of national jurisdiction.

By David Goodfellow