The European Fisheries Control Agency (EFCA) has adopted its Programming Document for 2019 in its Administrative Board meeting of 10 October 2018, the day after the celebration of its 10th year anniversary in Spain (Vigo). The Programming Document confirms that the core mission of the Agency will continue to be enshrined in the operational coordination of Member States' control and inspection activities.
The implementation of joint deployment plans (JDP) that will shortly cover most EU regulated species in the European Union will remain the core task of the agency and will encompass the Baltic Sea, the North Sea, the Western Waters, the Mediterranean Sea and the Black Sea. The agency will also coordinate the JDPs implementing the Union obligation in the NAFO and NEAFC areas.
Moreover, the enforcement of the landing obligation will still be a priority for EFCA as it will keep its commitment and support to the Member States including the assistance to the Regional Control Expert Groups. Further support will be provided through the Capacity Building activities such as training, the harmonisation of inspection procedures, risk management, compliance evaluation and other specific projects.
EFCA will maintain its contribution to the assistance to the Union in the international arena. The contribution of the agency to the cooperation project – PESCAO – will be the main capacity-building instrument for fighting illegal fishing in West Africa.
The EFCA will also maintain its efforts for implementing the commitments made by the European Union the ministerial declarations Medfish4ever and Blacksea4ever in the Mediterranean and Black Sea respectively both in the context of the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM).
Finally, the delivery of EFCA's tasks in the framework of the Coast Guard function, including fostering collaboration with both FRONTEX and EMSA, will remain high on the Agency's agenda with the cooperation in the agreed main five areas: sharing information, surveillance services, capacity building, risk analysis and capacity sharing. Next year, a practical Handbook on European cooperation on coast guard functions will be drafted.
"The approved document depicts how EFCA´s operational activities contribute to a European wide level playing field and its significant contribution towards sustainable fisheries by enhancing compliance with existing conservation and management measures," said Pascal Savouret, EFCA Executive Director.