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European Fisheries Control Agency


The Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organisation (NAFO) is a regional fisheries management organisation that ensures the long-term conservation and sustainable use of the fishery resources in the north-west Atlantic. The EFCA coordinates implementation of EU obligations as a NAFO contracting party, defined in the NAFO convention and the NAFO conservation and enforcement measures (NAFO CEM). The encompassing objective of EFCA assistance to the Member State concerned is to ensure the uniform and effective implementation of the NAFO CEM applicable to multispecies stocks in the NAFO RA.

In order to meet the objective of the uniform and effective application of the NAFO CEM as well as European Union conservation and control measures applying to Union fishing vessels in the NAFO RA and in accordance with Article 41 of Council Regulation (EC)  No 1386/2007, the EFCA provided, in collaboration with the Member State concerned, a specific organisational framework for operational coordination of control activities in this area, known as a joint deployment plan (JDP).

The NAFO JDP has been operating since 2007 with the participation of Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom, which collaborate in the implementation of the NAFO CEM through the system of joint sea campaigns.

Joint sea campaigns are planned, implemented and assessed each year in close cooperation between the European Commission, the Member State concerned and the EFCA to ensure achievement of the compliance with the conservation and control measures in force.

With regards to the uniform and effective implementation of control and inspection activities, consensus is sought at the meetings of the NAFO steering group for strategic decisions and through the collaboration of the technical joint deployment group. The work of inspectors seconded to joint and mixed inspection teams, at sea and ashore respectively, brings the most tangible evidence of this uniform and effective implementation of control and inspection activities.

Furthermore, the EFCA pays special attention to the establishment and application of best practices in all aspects of joint control operations. To this end, the EFCA works closely with the European Commission and Member State concerned in various experts groups and workshops for inspectors. An additional level of assistance is provided by EFCA coordinators on the board of the Member State FPV in their seagoing missions.

The EFCA has also been delegated by the Commission to fulfil a number of tasks related to the notification to the NAFO of the list of EU inspectors and inspection means and observers to be deployed on EU vessels fishing in the NAFO RA. The EFCA also sends all originals of inspection reports carried out by Member State inspectors in NAFO RA to flag states of fishing vessels with copies of inspection reports being sent to the European Commission and the NAFO secretariat.

The NAFO JDP organisational arrangements guarantee the high level of transparency, uniformity and effectiveness of control operations through the close cooperation of the Member State concerned in the enforcement of conservation and control measures.