Improved bathymetry to grow NZ’s marine economy

Improving bathymetric data – information about the depth of the ocean floor – could have benefits for New Zealand’s marine economy, a LINZ investigation has revealed.

“A number of industries depend on bathymetric data, such as shipping and fishing. It’s used to show safe passage for ships in nautical charts, and areas that are likely to hold fish stocks,” says LINZ Technical Leader Ed Griffin.

“We’ve done a stocktake of the data held and looked at whether there’s opportunity for greater sharing and coordination between all the organisations that produce this data.

“We’ve found that while there’s a lot of data being gathered by a range of organisations such as regional councils and lines companies, there are still some gaps in the areas covered and there’s duplication as different organisations collect data for the same regions.

“There’s an opportunity for groups to work together to coordinate who gathers what to prevent double ups and to save costs. There’s also potential for data collected by government organisations to be made publicly available so others can get the benefits from it.”

LINZ will now be working with others involved in bathymetry to further investigate the potential for coordination. LINZ will also look at the steps it can take to make this information more accessible to industry and the public.

“Taking these steps can mean a significant return on investment in bathymetric data. We hope these results will also encourage others to look at how they can improve the way they gather and share bathymetric data.”