Worldwide there are approximately 3,000 merchant ports and the work of the Harbour Master can vary widely from country to country and from port to port even within the same country.
The International Harbour Masters' Association is the professional body for those with responsibility for the safe, secure, efficient and environmentally sound conduct of marine operations in port waters.
With members in more than 50 countries, the Association brings together Harbour Masters and all those who hold a managerial position in aspects of the control of marine operations within a port.
Relationship between recreational navigation and commercial or fishing ports is complex. Recreational vessels sometimes operate and berth in locations that are not ideal from the point of view of the integrated management of the coastal zone.
Interactions and conflict
Different uses and different interests on coastal segments can cause conflicts and risks that are difficult to manage. Sometimes a portion of an existing fishing, industrial or commercial port is converted to recreational boating use. This may happen as a result of specific intent within the context of a long-term port master plan, but sometimes is only a spontaneous response to the demand by recreational activities. Especially in the latter case, interactions between different kinds of traffic may lead to conflicts and may also cause unsafe and/or unsustainable situations.
Minimising potential conflict
The aim of this report is to identify best practice recommendations for the operation, planning and design of recreational navigation to minimise potential conflicts with other types of traffic and seek a new approach to positive synergies with fishing communities.
Here the intention is to generally assess the cause and effects of these conflicts, analyse data relative to accidents between recreational and commercial vessels, and to present case studies that illustrate some of the general trends, in order to reach useful conclusions.
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As a specialized agency of the United Nations, IMO is the global standard-setting authority for the safety, security and environmental performance of international shipping. Its main role is to create a regulatory framework for the shipping industry that is fair and effective, universally adopted and universally implemented.