Nautical charts are maps or graphic representations designed to meet the needs of navigators plying the seas in any type of vessel—from a small boat to a huge ocean liner—and provide crucial information for safe and reliable maritime navigation. This information includes details on depths, the seabed, elevations, shoreline configurations, hazards and aids for navigation. In inland waters, such as channels and fjords, the need for modern and up-to-date cartography is even more important, as these entail much narrower and winding areas, as opposed to the open sea.
Against this backdrop, Argentina and Chile have agreed to develop cooperative and coordinated efforts to address the foregoing need in connection with an area that is of great importance for current navigation. Accordingly, both countries will publish in the near future Electronic Nautical Cartography (ENC) in cells, specifically designed for navigation, for the Beagle Channel area. The Beagle Channel has experienced a sustained and exponential increase in transit in recent decades, especially in light of the growing passage of tourist cruise ships in the area. The purpose of this collaboration is not only to guarantee navigational safety in this important passage, but also to strengthen cooperation between both nations in connection with maritime matters.
This initiative is based on the regulations set forth in the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (the SOLAS Convention). These regulations address the requirements for maintaining navigational equipment and systems, nautical charts and publications, electronic charts and electronic display systems, radar signaling and ship command and control systems, and are fundamental to ensuring the safety of maritime navigation.