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 IMO defines a Vessel Traffic Service (VTS) as a service implemented by a Competent Authority, designed to improve the safety and efficiency of vessel traffic and to protect the environment. The service should have the capability to interact with the traffic and to respond to traffic situations developing in the VTS area. The IALA VTS Manual states that “The realities of modern shipping, with larger and less manoeuvrable ships, traffic congestion in ports and waterways, hazardous cargoes and the potential for environmental damage, demanded that sophisticated measures be taken to reduce risks. Establishing Vessel Traffic Services was and still is a significant response to that demand”.
The IMO identifies three types of service that can be provided by a VTS:
The title of each service in each case is largely self-explanatory. In its simplest form, a VTS may provide basic information on which the master of the vessel bases his own decisions without further intervention from ashore. More usually, however, a VTS is also directly involved in the organisation and management of vessel traffic within its area of responsibility. As part of these services, the VTS should provide an oversight of the navigational safety of vessels and provide navigational assistance and advice if appropriate.
The VTS should be manned by personnel nationally certificated to the internationally recognised IALA V103 course standard. The types of service provided by a VTS will be promulgated in appropriate hydrographic publications.
IALA is a non-profit, international technical association. Established in 1957, it brings together authorities concerned with marine aids to navigation, as well as manufactures and consultants from all parts of the world, and offers them the opportunity to compare their experiences and achievements. IALA’s aim is to harmonize aids to navigation worldwide and to ensure that the movements of vessels are safe, expeditious, cost-effective and harmless to the environment. VTS documentation and standards in the form of standards, recommendations, guidelines, brochures and the VTS Manual are available free of charge for download under the “Publications” tab on the IALA website.
Aids to navigation can take the form of fixed or floating marks that may be lit or unlit, including lighthouses, leading lines, buoys and beacons. A vessel traffic service (VTS) can also be categorised as an AtoN, albeit a very sophisticated and relatively costly one. The mix of AtoN used in a port or waterway is determined by means of a risk assessment, which takes into account the local geography, traffic patterns, vessel size and manoeuvrability, local hydrographic conditions and weather patterns. IALA publications include guidance on maintenance and location of AtoN.
Work is well advanced with our Congress two months away.
For the first time we have held a Young Maritime Professionals’ Innovation Pitching Competition and we introduce here below the six finalists with their names, positions, organisations and Linkedin profiles
The competition is sponsored by Svitzer
An Automated Future
Business Excellence Officer, Associated British Ports
Senior Advisor Nautical & Hydrography
Australian Maritime Safety Authority
Risk Management & Modelling for MASS
Marine Pilot – Newcastle, Port Authority of New South Wales
Integration of Existing Quayside Equipment into the Automated Port
Project Engineer, Fendercare Marine
Port Integrated Intelligence
Marine Operations Officer Apprentice
Port Marine Operations Officer, Associated British Ports
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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