IHMA, the International Harbour Masters’ Association, celebrated its 20th anniversary at its congress in Vancouver where more than 100 delegates gathered from 30 May to 2 June 2016 to consider the theme of port expansion. This meeting was supported by an extensive industry exhibition.
Keynote presentations at the congress included the expanding role of VTS and the impact of e-Navigation from the Secretary-General of IALA-AISM, Mr Francis Zachariae, with the e-navigation theme also reflected by Captain Simon Pelletier, President of the International Maritime Pilots’ Association, who spoke about megaships and advanced pilot technology.
The origins of the International Harbour Masters’ Association can be traced back to the 1950s when harbour masters of the major ports of north west Europe began to meet regularly. Despite working in ports of diverse scale and operation, there was a strong thread of common purpose and a view that their shared interests could be developed for the benefit of all. The European Harbour Masters’ Association (EHMA) was established in 1985.
Agreement to work towards an international association led to the inauguration of the IHMA on 21 June 2006 with Captain H-J Roos, harbour master of the port of Bremen, elected as first President of IHMA.