Ports, as with all businesses, are expected to engage with their stakeholders in an open and honest manner. The environment in which Harbour Masters find themselves requires them to interact with the wider community. Although Harbour Masters may have the final say –a decision that may be determined by statute or regulation- they will certainly consider the requirements or concerns of the community on the use of the portís navigable area.
It is not only commercial vessels that make use of a port. There are recreational fisherman, diving clubs, rowing clubs, tour boat operators, visiting yachtsmen and power boats, marina operators and many more. Inevitably conflict may arise between different activities and the Harbour Master has an important role in engaging with interest groups, resolving these issues and ensuring the safety of all harbour users.