During its meeting of 05 April 2017, the EFCA Administrative Board re-elected its Chair, Mr Reinhard Priebe and its Deputy Chair Ms Andreina Fennech Farrugia for a second mandate and adopted the annual report for 2016, which comprised all the activities undertaken by the EFCA during the 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.
The coordination of the on-going Joint Deployment Plans (JDP) and other operational plans in support of the Member States, including the international dimension, reached close to 19,500 inspections (from 17,000 in 2015) which identified 665 suspected infringements.
The Agency continued its support to the regional groups of Member States in the framework of the JDP's and beyond through the implementation of data collection programmes to evaluate the catch composition, the improvement of the risk analysis, the assessment of compliance and the dialogue with stakeholders. Inter-regional cooperation was also enhanced.
EFCA has devoted a special attention to making fisheries controls in Europe more uniform through the development of an e-learning application based upon the Union Inspector Core Curricula (CC) and its involvement in the training of more than 550 inspectors. Specific emphasis was also put on the standardisation of the inspection processes related to the monitoring of the landing obligation.
2016 marked the opening of a new chapter for EFCA: its involvement in the European Coast Guard Function. Together with the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (FRONTEX) and the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA), each within its mandate, EFCA will support the competent national authorities by providing information, equipment and training, as well as by coordinating multipurpose operations.
This undertaking dramatically boosted the longstanding cooperation between the three agencies, which have signed a Tripartite Working Arrangement in March 2017, in accordance with the new legal framework.
“The report illustrates the good leverage of cooperation amongst EU Member States and also between those Member States and the agencies involved in maritime control issues under their respective mandates”, as stated by Executive Director Pascal Savouret.
“ECFA is well placed to face this new challenge thanks to all its expertise and commitment”.