In accordance with its founding regulation, EFCA may acquire, rent or charter the equipment that is necessary for the implementation of JDPs. In addition, in cooperation with Frontex and EMSA, the agency has to support national authorities in carrying out coastguard functions by, among other things, sharing assets and other capabilities.
Seaborne means of control
Within the abovementioned legislative framework and following an open call for tenders for the chartering of offshore fisheries patrol vessels, EFCA chartered three offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) from a consortium led by Sentinel Marine Netherlands.
The OPVs are called Ocean Guardian, Ocean Protector and Ocean Sentinel and all three are primarily deployed as fisheries patrol vessels in the Mediterranean, Black Sea, Western Waters, North Sea, Baltic Sea, NAFO and NEAFC.
The OPVs may also contribute to multipurpose operations in the framework of European cooperation on coast guard functions, such as providing support during search and rescue, maritime surveillance, and pollution response situations. These activities are performed in close cooperation with Member State authorities and/or with Frontex and EMSA.
The OPVs are Multi-Role Emergency Response and Rescue Vessels (ERRV) and all of them have a Dynamic Position System to better maintain their position and balance the environmental forces while reducing fuel consumption. The vessels are also certified with the ISO 14001, the international standard for environmental management.
"The chartering of three inspection platforms marks a turning point and materializes our strong commitment to support Member States authorities and the European Commission promoting compliance with the fisheries rules, as well as contributing for safe, secure and sustainable sea”, says Susan Steele, EFCA Executive Director.
Airborne means of control
In addition to seaborne means, EFCA has also at its disposal an aircraft to conduct aerial surveillance services for fisheries control, deployed under the Frontex inter-institutional framework service contract for Surveillance Aircraft Services for Border & Coast Guard Functions.
EFCA in collaboration with EMSA is deploying Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) from its OPVs.