On Friday, Croatia's scientists will take over the two-year rotating presidency of the Mediterranean and Black Seas Hydrographic Commission (MBSHC), a regional commission that fosters international cooperation in hydrography and cartography.
The Croatian Hydrographic Institute, based in the coastal city of Split, will be chairing the Commission for the next two years. The MBSHC coordinates the exchange of maritime information, charts, and hydrographic surveys, among 23 countries surrounding the Mediterranean and the Black Sea. The Commission was established in 1978.
Hydrography is the science which describes physical features of oceans, seas, coastal areas, lakes, and rivers. Scientists also create models of how these bodies of water can change over time. Its primary purpose is to increase safety of navigation and assist in any maritime activity, including everything from economic development plans, security, and defense, to research and also protection of maritime environments.
The Commission is part of the International Hydrographic Organisation (IHO) which is based in Monaco. Croatia has already chaired the Commission once, from 1999 to 2001.