The oceans traditionally have been the most important transport medium. Oceans
do not separate continents but connect them. Meanwhile, about 95 percent of
intercontinental goods transports are maritime transports. Between 1990 and
2000 alone, the world merchant fleet increased its gross tonnage from about
426 million to some 558 million, a 31 percent growth. This dynamic development
will continue, along with a general increase in ship traffic on the oceans.
Therefore, intensive efforts will have to be made to increase the safety and
efficiency of navigation.
The focus of the BSH's work is on hydrographic surveying - the basis for
the official nautical charts - and on type-testing and approving novel navigational
and radiocommunications equipment.