EFCA adopts its Annual Report for 2013
The EFCA has adopted its annual report for 2013 at the meeting of the Administrative Board held on 13 of March. The annual report comprised all the activities undertaken by the EFCA during last year. 2013 has been a year of preparation in readiness for the application of the new Common Fisheries Policy features.
2013 was taken up by much preparation for the entry into force of the new basic regulation of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). The new features require the adaption of the inspection and control regime in order to meet new policy obligations.
Within its mandate, the Agency will retain the objectives of achieving a level playing field and a culture of compliance of the Common Fisheries Policy in the most cost-efficient way. These objectives are all the more relevant for the implementation of the new provisions, such as the obligation to land all catches of specific species and to ensure detailed and accurate documentation. In its unique role as facilitator, the Agency will help develop simple and cost effective methods for monitoring and making technical recommendations.
Moreover, on the international stage, the European Fisheries Control Agency will cooperate with third countries and RFMOs to strengthen compliance with measures, especially those to combat IUU fishing, in order to ensure that measures adopted by such international organisations are strictly adhered to.
The European Fisheries Control Agency continued its pivotal role of contributing to an effective and uniform implementation of the current policy by brokering operational coordination and giving assistance to the European Commission and Member States. In order to be perfectly equipped for the new policy, EFCA has been building control capacities, namely the development of a new data management system, to enable electronic control tools to work in the most cost-efficient, consistent and effective way within the European Union. Moreover, in the field of Training at the end of 2013, the first Core Curricula courses Inspection at Sea (handbook and manual) have been completed and circulated to the Member States and the European Commission and will contribute to a more uniform application of the rules and increase the effectiveness of control.
Once more this year, the joint deployment plans (JDP) have been the key vehicle through which the agency coordinates control operations. During 2013, all five JDPs of the Agency were successfully implemented.
In addition, through the creation of Focus Groups, EFCA devised a cost evaluation model for JDPs operations and drafted guidelines for compliance evaluation. This work is paving the way for enhancing control operations and contributing to compliance assessment in the near future.
The move to regional JDPs this year has been conclusive. Against a background of a revised Specific Control and Inspection Programme model, EFCA has made further progress towards the implementation of Regional Control Areas, aligning the way the Agency works with one of the key features of the reformed CFP: regionalisation.
“The Agency is a crucial player for ensuring transparency and effectiveness in the implementation of the policy whilst taking into consideration the views of the fisheries stakeholders represented in its Advisory Board,” said Pascal Savouret, Executive Director of the European Fisheries Control Agency.