The River Hamble Harbour Authority


The River Hamble is a truly fascinating place. The more you look at its natural environment the more you will see, and that’s just above the water. Below the waves and within the mud is yet more evidence of the rich ecosystem that makes up this beautiful harbour.

Some areas of the River are so highly regarded for their importance to nature conservation that they have been designated under local, national, European and even international law.

The RHHA has an important role in ensuring that any activities we undertake, or anything we permit others to do, will not harm this valuable environment. The Harbour Authority has been given this responsibility under European Law known as the Habitats Directive, however, we must also comply with numerous other pieces of legislation including:

  • Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981
  • Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000
  • Biodiversity Action Plans
  • Protection of Wrecks Act 1974
  • Environmental Protection Act 1990
  • Water Resources Act 1991
  • The Merchant Shipping (Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Co-operation) Regulations 1998
  • The Merchant Shipping and Fishing Vessels (Port Waste Reception Facilities) Regulations 2003
  • Hazardous Waste Regulations 2005
  • Marine & Coastal Access Act 2009

We must ensure we meet our legal obligations to the environment and therefore employ an Environmental Officer who requires a wide ranging knowledge of the environment which includes habitats and species, environmental law, planning and licensing, pollution response and waste management. The Environmental Officer is also responsible for advising the Harbour Board on all environmental matters as well as the daily routine of monitoring the environment of the Harbour and working with other organisations and authorities in managing the harbour environment.

The Harbour Authority is often the first point of contact for people seeking advice and we will be able to help with queries on various subjects including the Marine Consents process, dredging, education/students questions, water quality, species identification and information, fishing, bait collection, waste disposal, avian influenza, archaeology, etc. Even if we do not know ourselves we will definitely know someone who can help!

Please send any enquiries to the Environment and Development Manager or telephone 01489 576387