During its meeting of 14 March 2018, the EFCA Administrative Board adopted the annual report reflecting all the activities undertaken by the EFCA during 2017, an outstanding year for EFCA due to increased resources and growing tasks.
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 Agency continued its assistance and collaboration with the Member States 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 in order to develop processes for the monitoring of the landing obligation.
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 20,074 inspections, which identified 889 apparent infringements.
The training programmes for trainers and Union inspectors in support of the Member States, with an emphasis on the continued evolution of the e-learning platform and the update of the Core Curriculum included 29 training sessions with 875 officials trained.
In line with the commitments taken in the Ministerial Declaration MedFish4Ever, the EFCA implemented the Pilot Project of the GFCM Recommendation for conservation of fishing resources in the Strait of Sicily in cooperation with the Commission, the Member States and Third Countries. The good results of this project led to the adoption of an international inspection scheme by the GFCM applying to the Strait of Sicily.
EFCA`s involvement in the European Coast Guard Function reached a cruise speed. 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. EFCA, together with the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (FRONTEX) and the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA), each within its mandate, shall support the competent national authorities by providing information, equipment and training, as well as by coordinating multipurpose operations.
The Agency contributed in the international dimension of the Common Fisheries Policy to the European Commission project “PESCAO” (Improved Regional Fisheries Governance in Western Africa), aiming at enhancing regional cooperation in the fight against Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) fishing in that area.
Throughout the year, EFCA assisted the European Commission in the framework of Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Agreements (SFPA), in its relations with the Regional Fisheries Management Organsitations and in the implementation of the EU regulation for combatting IUU fishing.
“These achievements illustrate the positive results that the coordination of the joint control activities of the Member States and the support granted to the European Commission by the EFCA can provide thanks to the efforts and commitments of its staff’ stated EFCA’s Executive Director Pascal Savouret.