UKHO Supporting The Blue Economy

Our oceans are critical to so many particular points of our day-to-day lives. Globally, we rely on our oceans for trade, food, and other valuable resources, as well as enabling environmental protection and international aid.

As years go by, maritime transformation has evolved in many ways by the help of new and improved technology. The advances in technology are now the primary asset to a better, smarter, data-driven maritime industry.

What is the blue economy?

The blue economy concerns all ocean-related business that steer economic growth. This is what has come to be known as the ‘blue economy’ and it’s estimated worth is $3.2 trillion by the year 2030.

We are growing increasingly reliant on out ocean resources to meet the needs of today’s fast-changing world, particularly with growing industries such as maritime trade, tourism, and renewable energy, as well as new emerging sectors. As a result, there is growing need for data about our oceans or ‘blue data’.

Not only will this data help to unlock a large economic potential but it will also validate us to make the most of our oceans in smarter, more sustainable, and more responsible ways.

Unlocking the potential of the blue economy

The UKHO holds a wealth of marine data great in both breadth and volume. They produce over 15,800 Electronic Navigational Charts under their ADMIRALTY brand to support mariners internationally, as well as products to support National Defense in the UK. In addition to their navigational information, they hold wide-ranging data sets about the composition and nature of the marine environment.

This data has the potential to unlock the full potential of the blue economy and ultimately deliver more value for key decision makers. From building on their team’s digital skills to exploring the value of machine learning and other data techniques, this new approach is changing the way they collect, process and publish blue data at the UKHO, so it can be used for a much wider range of applications.

Delivering value through data

One of the areas they've seen this data make a real difference is through the International Hydrographic programmers. Recently, they've been expanding the range of data sets made available through the ADMIRALTY Marine Data Portal. Through the portal, users can not only access data on bathymetry, maritime limits and ship's routeing, but also information on the positions of wind farms and wrecks within the UK's Exclusive Economic Zone. This data can bring substantial economic benefits to the coastal and island states – from supporting fisheries management by producing seabed habitat maps to improving trade and tourism by supporting navigational safety at sea.

What does the future of the blue economy look like?

As the network of data suppliers continues to grow, we are committed to working with our partners to help realize the potential of the blue economy. Together, we are unlocking a wider range of solutions and deeper understanding of the ‘blue data’, supporting a much better and advanced blue economy for the future.

We are proud to be an International Admiralty Chart Agent on behalf of the United Kingdom Hydrographic Office. Browse the full selection of British Admiralty Nautical Charts or publications.