signature_logo_acronyme_SHOMFrance’s Naval Hydrographic and Oceanographic Service (SHOM or Service Hydrographique et Océanographique de la Marine) is the descendant of the first official hydrographic service in the world, established in 1720. .

SHOM is responsible for ensuring the quality and availability of information on the physical environment of the seas, coastlines and oceans and for coordinating the collection, archiving and distribution of data in order to meet the public, military and civil requirements at the lowest possible cost. As such, it has three main areas of responsibility:

- as a national hydrographic service, SHOM carries out the remit of the State with respect to general hydrography for the benefit of all sea users, and in particular to ensure navigational safety, in accordance with France’s international obligations.
- it ensures, within its areas of competence, that defence expertise and operational support requirements are met, taking into account the air-maritime environment.
- SHOM uses its expertise to assist on public maritime and coastal policies covering many fields: State activity at sea, maritime delimitations, integrated management of coastal areas, and observation and evolution of sea levels, among others.

With offices in Brest, Toulouse, Saint Mandé, Toulon, Nouméa and Papeete, SHOM has over 500 personnel and a fleet of five specialist ships provided by the French National Navy. Its zone of responsibility covers the national Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of 11 million km² as well as many zones in West Africa, the Middle East and in the Indian Ocean, as a result of the international commitments contracted by France. Its portfolio of nautical documents includes 700 electronic navigation charts (ENC), of which 300 have been published to date, as well as 1,100 paper charts and 75 books.
Since 2004, all its activities have been ISO 9001:2000 certified.

SHOM supports the La Boudeuse mission

SHOM is the descendant of France’s Dépôt des Cartes, Plans, Journaux et Mémoires Relatifs à la Navigation (The Repository of Charts, Maps, Journals and Memoirs relating to Navigation) which contained marine charts and publications produced by the Navy and by learned men of the 18th and 19th centuries, the memory of whom lives on in the names of the hydro-oceanographic ships it uses today (the Beautemps-Beaupré, the Borda, the Lapérouse, the Laplace and the Pourquoi-Pas?) True to this spirit, its history and its current missions, SHOM is sponsoring the La Boudeuse mission in 2009 and in 2010 by providing cartographical support, contributing to the nautical safety of the expedition.

  • More information of the internet website: or

  • To contact our Communications manager

Hélène Lecornu , SHOM c/o IGN, 2 avenue Pasteur, 94160 Saint-Mandé
Tél : 01 53 66 97 82 – Fax : 01 41 74 94 25 –

Back to The partners

Position of the ship :