European law enforcement and fisheries control authorities have enhanced their cooperation in combating illegal fishing activities following the organisation of a Joint Action Day (JAD) on 25 September, in the framework of EMPACT (European Multidisciplinary Platform against Criminal Threats). The leader of this particular JAD was Portugal with EFCA as co-leader, teaming up EU Agencies (Europol, Eurojust and Frontex) and Member States Cyprus, Croatia, Estonia, Latvia, Malta, Italy, Portugal, Spain, law enforcement and fisheries control communities.
The Joint Action Day was coordinated from EFCA Coordination Centre in Vigo (Spain) for the first time. It brought together representatives from the two communities and resulted in an increased awareness on fisheries surveillance and control and an exchange of strategic and operational intelligence. It counted with the involvement of law enforcement officers and fisheries inspectors cooperating together in 181 Operational actions. That resulted in the detection of 63 cases of possible infringements. The cooperation was well established and tested in traceability/cross checking of information (vessel, crew and catch related). As reported by the EUROPOL large-scale Joint Action Days 2019, the operation led to the seizure of 2 471 kg of suspected illegal fished catch.
This activity was part of the EMPACT large-scale Joint Action Days 2019, which Europol coordinated. The actions targeted synthetic drugs and new psychoactive substances and human trafficking, migrant smuggling, document fraud and environmental crime and involved law enforcement authorities from EU Member States, third-party countries and EU bodies.