A new virtual fisheries control academy for the Mediterranean
In the framework of the international dimension of its mandate, the European Fisheries Control Agency (EFCA) supports and implements the Project “Mediterranean virtual regional training academy on fisheries control and inspection (eFishMed)”
e-FishMed promotes cooperation in the fight against IUU fishing, the implementation of General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GCFM) and International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) conservation and management measures.
Political and legal framework
The Project is framed in the context of several European Union (EU) policies, namely the Western-Mediterranean Sea basin strategy (WestMED Blue Economy Initiative), the new approach for a sustainable blue economy in the EU and the new agenda for the Mediterranean.
The e-FishMed project is financed under the European Maritime, Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund (EMFAF). The Implementing Decision – C(2021) 3870 final - was adopted on 4 June 2021 and the action is included in the EMFAF work programme 2021 under Priority 4 – Strengthening international ocean governance and enabling safe, secure, clean and sustainably managed seas and oceans.
Duration and regional scope
The Contribution Agreement was signed by EFCA and the European Commission on 15 December 2021, the project started on 1st February 2022 and will last three years.
Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, and Tunisia are the Beneficiary Countries (BC) of the project and the initiative will be technically supported by France, Italy, Malta, Portugal, and Spain, as Project Partners (PP). In the future, the project could be extended to other Mediterranean countries.
The overall objective of e-FishMed is to conduct specific capacity building activities in the BCs contributing to a better understanding and application of the rules.
The specific objective of e-FishMed is to improve national and regional Monitoring, Control and Surveillance (MCS) systems of BC by setting-up a virtual regional training academy.
An e-learning platform will be at the core of the project, improving the effectiveness of training activities aimed to reinforce knowledge and competences of fisheries control and inspection staff.
There are three expected results:
- Result 1: Development of a common training curriculum as a contribution to harmonisation of MCS activities across BCs,
- Result 2: Make available online a set of e-learning modules and training material improving the effectiveness of training activities for MCS Staff in BCs,
- Result 3: Set up of a staff exchange programme and organisation of training sessions through an e-learning platform, facilitating the exchange of experience and best practices between EFCA, PPs and BCs.
The virtual academy will contribute to harmonising fisheries control and inspection activities and foster cooperation and exchange of best practices between northern and southern Mediterranean countries.
The project will also be catalyst for a stronger cooperation on fisheries control and sustainable blue economy in the Mediterranean region, improving the level playing field for fisheries. Indeed, training of inspectors and development of standardized procedures aim at the equal treatment of operators.
The added value of e-FishMed was also recently recognised in the WestMed Ministerial Declaration dated 23 June 2023 that welcomed the share of expertise and best practices within the e-FishMed project.
More information on the e-FIshMed e-learning platform at e-FishMed : A new virtual fisheries control academy for the Mediterranean - EU Video (europa.eu)