and Safety


The Cattewater Harbour Commissioners are committed to the aims and objectives of the Tamar Estuaries Consultative Forum (TECF). 

As a founder member, the Commissioners’ contribute to the forum’s work, and play an active part in supporting the work of Plymouth City Council’s Natural Infrastructure Manager. 

For Plymouth Sound & Tamar Estuaries Marine Protected Area website, click here www.plymouth-mpa.uk

TECF’s dedicated Natural Infrastructure Officer is employed by Plymouth City Council under the umbrella of a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) between the Relevant Authorities.

The waters of Plymouth Sound and the Tamar Estuaries are characterised by many overlapping Statutory Authorities and functions where no single organisation has overall control.

The designation of Plymouth Sound and Estuaries as a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and a Special Protection Area under European Union Directives means that it becomes even more important for the Relevant Authorities to work together to manage the waters in a coordinated manner whilst ensuring compliance with the Directives.  Since 1991 many of the statutory organisations have been working together to deliver integrated management of the waters through the Tamar Estuaries Consultative Forum (TECF).

Ports are becoming increasingly aware of their impact on the environment and the need to reduce this wherever possible.  Shipping is the cleanest method of freight transportation, however, ports acknowledge that more can be done to monitor our air quality.

As a responsible major port, and in line with new Government guidance, we have produced the Port of Plymouth Air Quality Strategy.  This document outlines our aims and ambitions to help monitor and improve the air quality in the Port.  We are grateful to have received the input of our stakeholders and commercial partners in the strategy, and this input demonstrates the cooperative approach needed.

The air quality strategy will remain a ‘live’ document and will be periodically updated to include new methods and ideas the port or its stakeholders are adopting to improve air quality. 

 Any feedback regarding air quality and the strategy document is welcomed. 

Port Air Quality Strategy

The Cattewater Harbour Commissioners, in line with environmental protection duties and the Port Marine Safety Code, has an oil spill contingency plan outlining our response to an oil pollution incident within harbour limits.

The commissioners Oil Spill Contingency Plan is reguarly reviewed and used in exercises to ensure it is relevant and fit for purpose. We worked regularly with the other harbour authorities to conduct practical exercises to test the ports contingency plans.

Our staff are trained to MCA standards in Oil Spill response, to ensure we can react promptly and effectively to a spill of any size.


The Port Marine Safety Code is designed to ‘play an instrumental role in achieving this by providing a pragmatic and proportionate approach to safety standards which enable everyone who is involved, from major ports to smaller marine terminals and harbours, to proportionately apply the principles upon which it is based.’

The code aims to improve safety across the port industry, and is something the Cattewater Harbour Commissioners respects and aims to be fully compliant at all times, in all areas of the port operation.

The following files are available for download, as part of the Port Marine Safety Code:

Cattewater Harbour Commissioners will ensure that the harbour is operated efficiently and safely so as to safeguard the harbour, its users, the public and the environment.  It is committed to performing all of its duties and responsibilities in a safe and efficient manner.

Cattewater Harbour Commissioners will comply with all legal requirements and aims to meet the national requirements of  the Port Marine Safety Code and to heed the guidance in the Guide to Good Practice on Port Marine Operations.  The functions of the Commissioners will be conducted openly and transparently and will be in the overall long-term interests of the harbour’s stakeholders and beneficiaries. In fulfilling its duties the Commissioners are committed:    

  • To ensuring so far as reasonably practical the safety of all those that use and work in the harbour.
  • To preserving the environment and maintaining approved pollution prevention and nature conservation measures.
  • To facilitating the safety of navigation in the harbour and its approaches together with safeguarding the navigational access to and from the harbour.
  • To the provision and maintenance of viable harbour facilities. 
  • To actively support the aims and objectives of The Tamar Estuaries Consultative Forum.
  • To providing an efficient pilotage service.
  • To regulating the activities of all those that use the harbour and ensuring the applicable laws are enforced whenever appropriate.
  • To formally review the Harbour Authority’s plans, policies and procedures at intervals not exceeding 5 years.
With respect to the requirement in Clause 17 of the Cattewater Harbour Revision (Constitution) Order 2005 (Advisory Bodies), the Commissioners have adopted the Port of Plymouth Marine Liaison Committee (P.P.M.L.C.) as their Advisory Body.

As part of the requirement of the Port Marine Safety Code, any incident which occurs within Cattewater Harbour Limits must be reported to the harbour master as soon as possible. 

To Report an Incident:

  • During working hours, please phone +44(0)1752 665934 or email info@plymouthport.org.uk
  • Outside working hours, please phone Longroom Port Control on +44(0)1752 836953, who can contact the harbour office direct.
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