The North East Atlantic Fisheries Commission (NEAFC) is a regional fisheries management organisation that ensures the long-term conservation and sustainable use of the fishery resources in the north-east Atlantic. The EFCA coordinates the implementation of EU obligations as a NEAFC contracting party, defined in the NEAFC convention and the NEAFC scheme of control and enforcement (NEAFC scheme). The encompassing objective of EFCA assistance to the Member State concerned is to ensure the uniform and effective implementation of the NEAFC recommendations and NEAFC scheme applicable to multispecies stocks in the NEAFC regulatory area (NEAFC RA).
In order to meet the objective of the uniform and effective application of NEAFC management and control measures as well as European Union rules applying to Union fishing vessels in the NEAFC RA, and in accordance with Regulation (EU) No 1236/2010 of the European Parliament and of the Council and Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 433/2012, the EFCA provided, in collaboration with the Member State concerned, a specific organisational framework for operational coordination of control activities in this area, known as a joint deployment plan (JDP).
The NEAFC JDP has been operating since 2009 with the participation of Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom, which collaborate in the implementation of NEAFC rules through the system of joint sea campaigns.
Joint sea campaigns are planned, implemented and assessed each year in close cooperation between the European Commission, the Member State concerned and the EFCA to ensure achievement of the compliance with the conservation and control measures in force.
With regards to the uniform and effective implementation of control and inspection activities, consensus is sought at the meetings of the NEAFC steering group for strategic decisions and through collaboration with the technical joint deployment group. The work of inspectors seconded to joint inspection teams at sea brings the most tangible evidence of this uniform and effective implementation of control and inspection activities.
Furthermore, the EFCA pays special attention to the establishment and application of best practices in all aspects of joint control operations. To this end, the EFCA works closely with the European Commission and the Member State concerned in various experts groups and workshops for inspectors. An additional level of assistance is provided by the EFCA coordinators on the board of the Member State FPV in their seagoing missions.
The EFCA has also been delegated by the Commission to fulfil a number of tasks related to the notification to the NEAFC the list of EU inspectors and inspection means and compiling annual reports on EU inspection activities in the NEAFC RA. The EFCA also sends all the originals of inspection reports carried out by Member State inspectors in the NEAFC RA to fishing vessel flag states with copies of inspection reports being sent to the European Commission and the NEAFC secretariat.
The NEAFC JDP organisational arrangements guarantee the high level of transparency, uniformity and effectiveness of control operations through the close cooperation of the Member State concerned in the enforcement of conservation and control measures.