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Our role & responsibilities


Dart Harbour is a Trust Port, a Competent Harbour Authority and a Local Lighthouse Authority. A Trust port is an independent not-for-profit statutory body created by an Act of Parliament.  It is run by an independent board for the benefit of its stakeholders and is governed by its own local legislation.  It is the role of the Executive, the Board and those working for the organisation, to safeguard and improve the port so that it continues to flourish for future generations.

Trust ports are independent statutory bodies, with a responsibility to manage, maintain and improve a harbour. Trust ports operate on a commercial basis and are expected to generate a return and reinvest surpluses to support the continuing and long-term success of a port for the benefit of its stakeholders.

Competent Harbour Authorities are expected to maintain a pilotage service and can make pilotage directions including making pilotage compulsory. Local Lighthouse Authorities can establish navigation marks within their area of jurisdiction and must maintain these to required standards., these navigation marks are inspected annually by a Trinity House inspector.

Dart Harbour is responsible for safety within the harbour and to license others, with some restrictions, to do the same. Other statutory duties are to be prepared for incidents such as the clean-up of any oil spills, manage waste disposal, enforce national legislation and make and enforce byelaws.

The Authority has about 1,600 permanent moorings in the harbour of which the vast majority are let on an annual basis, the Authority also provides a number of visitors’ moorings in Dartmouth and further upriver. The fees collected from these moorings and from harbour dues are used to fund improvements and provide services within the harbour.