During its meeting of 10 March 2015, the EFCA Administrative Board adopted the annual report for 2015, which comprised all the activities undertaken by the EFCA during the last year. Last year, EFCA achieved important results in promoting cooperation amongst Member States, assisting the European Commission and contributing to a strengthened European Union system of monitoring, control and surveillance, with a view to guaranteeing a level playing field and a culture of compliance in the most cost-efficient way.
EFCA has placed special attention on the implementation of the key features of the Common Fisheries Policy and above all the landing obligation. For this purpose, all JDPs have implemented a data collection programme to evaluate as far as possible the catch composition of the "Last observed haul”, to improve the risk analysis relating to the landing obligation. Moreover, much work has been done in the support of the Member States Regional bodies in this regard as well as through inter-regional cooperation and dialogue with stakeholders.
The coordination of the ongoing Joint Deployment Plans has increased further its intensity reaching 17.000 inspections (from 12.700 in 2014). All JDPs are now multispecies, multiannual and continuous throughout the year.
The Agency has also supported the European Commission in providing support in activities relating to the International Dimension of the Common Fisheries Policy and the fight against Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing analysing 6000 catch certificates and relating documents. In this context, it has assisted the European Union in fulfilling its obligations towards the Regional Fisheries Management Organisations and in capacity building missions in Third Countries, in the framework of Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Agreements.
During 2015, EFCA held 38 training events including regional workshops, exchange of best practices, training the trainers, Union inspector training, Fisheries Information System-training and training for Third Countries at the request of the Commission as well at the request of individual Member States. EFCA trained more than 12% of the Union inspectors, as indicated in one of the key performance indicators.
EFCA has also contributed to the reflexions and development of data management meetings in the Working Groups hosted by the European Commission throughout the year. Special attention has been given to the Union VMS project where the Commission together with Sweden jointly developed an open source VMS system to be available to Member States, and to the Agency.
The last quarter saw considerable effort for preparing EFCA contribution to the future European Border and Coastguard capacity working together with the Commission, FRONTEX and EMSA.
"Overall, 2015 was a very productive year, in line with our efforts to broker operational coordination in fisheries monitoring, control and surveillance measures to achieve compliance, a level playing field and cost effectiveness in the implementation of the control regime of the Control Fisheries Policy" said Pascal Savouret, EFCA Executive Director.