The Autonomous Communal Company Port of Ostend (AG Haven Oostende) was set up on 30 August 1996 by the Ostend Municipal Council and became operational on 1 March 1997. Prior to that the port was run by the City of Ostend, the RMT and the Flemish Region. On 1 July 1971 the Regie voor Maritiem Transport (RMT) was set up to manage the ferry service between Ostend and the United Kingdom. The RMT was also authorized to exploit a large part of the Ostend outer harbour. As well as this, part of the east bank of the outer harbour belonged to the Ministry of Defence. The rest of the port (a few small docks behind the Demeysluis, the yacht harbour and the fishing port) remained in the hands of the City of Ostend. The zones along the Ostend-Ghent canal (now known as "Plassendale") were under the authority of the Flemish Region. With the setting up of the AG Haven Oostende the various port zones came under a single authority.