Management and departments
President of the BSH
Marine Sciences Department
The oceanography department observes and investigates large areas of the oceans and focuses on the balance between their protection and sustainable use. It provides information to support maritime navigation, the maritime economy and science. Approximately 150 employees take care of the forecasting and warning services, create long-term programmes for monitoring the state of the marine environment and monitor compliance with national, European and international guidelines, supported by task-related research. The resulting information, data and assessments are available to policymakers, specialised institutions and the public.
Nautical Hydrography Department
The Nautical Hydrography Department of the BSH is the German Hydrographic Service. Hydrographic information such as water depths (topography of the seabed) or wrecks are recorded with our own ships and processed into products together with other information. Our particular focus is on the safety of shipping. The best-known product is the official nautical chart, either electronic or on paper. All products are created internally at the BSH – editorially, graphically and technically.
Management of the Sea Department
The Management of the Sea Department is responsible for drawing up maritime spatial development plans for the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and for drawing up the spatial development plan. Starting in 2026, this plan will control the spatial and temporal development of offshore wind energy and define areas for offshore wind farms and their grid connection. A further task is the preliminary investigation of areas for offshore wind energy. If areas prove to be suitable for offshore wind energy, interested companies receive all the information they need on the marine environment, the subsoil and the wind and oceanographic conditions for submitting bids in the tender for areas to the Federal Network Agency. The approval procedures for offshore wind farms, converters, power cables and pipelines are also conducted. This includes the participation of the public, the assessment of the environmental compatibility of these infrastructure projects as well as the technical approval and supervision of construction and operation.
Maritime Shipping Department
The Marine Shipping Department is part of the German flag state administration with numerous services for seafarers and shipping companies. More than 130 employees deal with qualification documents, surveying papers, liability certificates, flagging out and documents in the field of defense against external dangers at sea. The service for shipping aims at electronic administration. In addition, the department manages the federal funds for the promotion of shipping, is responsible for the implementation of the rules on environmental protection in maritime transport, implements the European Marine Equipment Directive and maintains an overview of the German merchant fleet. The BSH is responsible for navigation and communication systems on board as well as for research and development. The BSH focuses on digital development, but also on cyber risks, in particular with regard to interfaces and organizational procedures to avoid cyber attacks in maritime transport.
Tasks of the Marine Shipping Department
Central Services Department
BSH's central services department comprises the traditional administrative departments of Human Resources, Organisation, Budget and Procurement, structures internal processes and cross-sectional tasks, and is responsible for information technology. As part of a modern authority, the central services department is responsible for strategic management, controlling, project management and compliance and, with its internal and legal services, provides the necessary infrastructure for a complex authority that also operates five ships. Around 175 employees are committed to human and financial resources, to the best possible working environment for all employees and thus to efficient work processes.
Tasks of the Central Services Department