EFCA contributes together with Member States, the Commission and other European Agencies, on research into and development of control and inspection techniques and technologies for fisheries control purposes.
EFCA, being a promoter of innovative technologies, is closely cooperating with the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) and other EU bodies follows research and development from the industry, in particular with regards to the use of maritime surveillance, vessel detection and earth observation technologies.
EFCA’s provides a valuable access to fisheries control user requirements and business needs when developing new tools and technologies destined for an operational fisheries control environment. In addition, at the request of the Commission or in the framework of inter-agency cooperation, the EFCA is looking into emerging technologies whenever there is a potential added value for fisheries control and surveillance.
EFCA Integrated Maritime Services (IMS)
The EFCA Integrated Maritime Services (IMS) is an operational fisheries control coordination tool set-up and made available via the SafeSeaNet Ecosystem Graphical User Interface (SEG) developed by the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA).
With over 500 registered fisheries control users, this EFCA-EMSA interagency cooperation service provides support to EFCA and Member States’ JDP operations in Union and International waters. It includes a real-time maritime awareness operational picture fusing and correlating VMS, terrestrial automatic identification systems (AIS), satellite AIS, and long-range identification and tracking (LRIT) as well as Vessel Detection Service (VDS) reports and satellite images delivered through the Copernicus Maritime Services.
The service continues to be further improved, driven by Member States business needs developed and channelled by EFCA as well as through a Pilot Project (‘Modernising fisheries control and optimising vessel monitoring through the use of innovative European Systems’) aiming at developing specific functionalities that will support Member States and the Commission in combatting IUU fishing activities.
The EFCA IMS service provides a tool for behaviour analysis, risk assessment and classification of possible non-compliance targets to fisheries monitoring centres in Member States, and drives the fisheries monitoring activity assessment and follow-up performed by the EFCA.
Copernicus Maritime Services
Copernicus, is a European initiative aiming at providing Europe with a continuous, independent and reliable access to earth observation data and information. The EU investment aims at filling observation gaps, providing access to existing assets and developing operational services.
In the framework of Copernicus, EFCA cooperates very closely with EMSA, being he intrusted Copernicus Maritime Surveillance (CMS) service provider.
EFCA promotes, coordinates and manages CMS service requests for the Member States fisheries control user community. In addition, EFCA assesses the added value of available technologies and assists Member States in the definition of acquisition requests and analyses of deliverables.
In remote areas with limited fishery patrol and aerial surveillance coverage the availability of alternative vessel detection systems can be a valuable asset, particularly in view of the global fight against Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing.
Satellite images acquired through CMS services are correlated with available position data sets, resulting in vessel detection and identification reports (VDS) and are integrated into the EFCA IMS for consultation by the end user. VDS can be a valuable element for the assessment of a possible risk of non-compliance thus supporting the decision making process with regards to launching a targeted inspection operation.