The International Congress of Harbour Masters represents an event of great interest for marine professionals and delegates as well as harbour masters. All the participants will meet in the port of Tangier Med from 21 to 24 May to discuss the latest developments in the domain and exchange ideas to improve the marine professions in the future.

The President of the IHMA Association, Captain Paul O'Regan, states that "it is a great pleasure to meet at the 14th edition of the International Harbour Masters Congress in the wonderful Kingdom of Morocco", thanking the Moroccan port authorities for hosting this Congress.

O'Regan, Director of Operations and Captain of Port Cork in Ireland, maintains that this meeting promises to be an enriching experience full of in-depth discussions, collaborative networking and exchange of best practices.

Against the backdrop of a changing maritime environment that is forced to adapt to environmental and digitalisation challenges to ensure smooth and safe maritime operations, this Congress will serve as a forum where industry leaders, and experts from the Navy will share their knowledge, discuss emerging trends and address the challenges facing the maritime landscape.

The Congress includes engaging sessions, interactive workshops and keynotes from expert port management panelists; plus social events and networking opportunities that will allow you to relax, exchange ideas and forge valuable connections in a friendly atmosphere.

The International Harbour Masters' Association

The Finnish Harbour Masters' Association is considered the oldest association in Europe and perhaps the world. It was founded in 1936, followed by the Dutch in 1949, the Belgian in 1971, the French in 1992, the English in 1993, and the German and Polish associations in 1994.

Subsequently, Overseas Harbour Masters Associations were founded in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa. Today, with 250 members from more than 50 countries, the Association brings together harbour masters and all those responsible for the management of maritime operations within a port infrastructure.

It should be noted that the International Harbour Masters Association is the professional body that has as its objectives:

  • To promote the safe, efficient and environmentally sound conduct of marine operations in port waters.
  • To develop and foster collaboration and good relations between harbour masters throughout the world.
  • To represent the professional views of harbour masters at international, regional and national levels.
  • To collect and provide information of professional interest.

What is the role of the harbour master?

The harbour master has a key role to play in ensuring that people living and working in or near the port, port staff, customers or visitors to the port environment can conduct their business safely.

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The role will vary depending on the size of the port and the type of vessels using it, but will typically include the management of:

  • The movement of vessels within its area of jurisdiction.
  • People, including vessel traffic service operators, port operators and associated personnel.
  • Safe, efficient and environmentally sound port operations.
  • Marine finance and assets.
  • Pilotage provision.
  • Safety, environmental and health laws at international, national and local levels.
  • The manner in which ships navigate in the port.  
  • The hazard or problem that may affect the safety of navigation.

It is worth noting that, 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.

Source: Atalayar


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Issue 90 of Robban Assafina

(Mar./April 2024)


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