The governments of India and Maldives launched a 3rd joint hydrographic survey in the Maldives. The survey is in line with the memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed in 2018 between the two countries to cooperate for hydrographic studies.
The Indian Navy vessel, INS Investigator, is surveying the northern atolls; Haa Alifu, Haa Dhaalu, and Shaviyani Atolls. In addition to the INS Investigator, small vessels, and helicopters, are also used for the survey.
The 24-hour basis survey collects information on reefs and lagoons, charts coastlines, and installs tide poles to study ocean currents and tide levels.
The first joint hydrographic survey was conducted between February and March 2021 while the 2nd in 2022 in northern islands as well as greater Male’. The Maldives Hydrographic Service was established officially in March 2022 with the Maldives hydrography office under MNDF.
Indian Naval will use the survey data to o bring the latest updates to the current navigational maps, GPS, and electronic charts. The Maldives will receive 25% royalty payments from every hydrographic chart sold to international parties and 35% royalty payments if sold to the Maldives. A dispute arose among locals amid the hydrographic study agreement, with some believing that disclosing survey details to India could threaten national security.