On 11-12 April 2018, the European Fisheries Control Agency (EFCA) hosted the first European Annual Coast Guard event which took place in La Toja, Spain. It was co-organised by the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex), the European Fisheries Control Agency and the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) and brought together more than 120 participants from Member States’ national authorities responsible for the various coast guard functions, the three relevant EU Agencies as well as the European Commission.
The event provided participants with the opportunity to give an insight into the activities relevant for the five areas of interagency cooperation: information sharing to improve maritime situational awareness to facilitate operations at sea; maritime surveillance and communication services; capacity building such as training and risk assessment strategies, and sharing of capacity in the form of multipurpose operations. The discussions provided the three agencies with valuable feedback on the current cooperation activities and input for the planning of possible joint actions to be incorporated in the Annual Strategic Plan for 2019.
“The EU Coast Guard cooperation shows the added value of working together and focusing on the commonalities, rather than in the individualities. This event permitted to better identify the expectations of the Member States authorities delivering tasks falling under the European Union Coast Guard functions to work closer together in future activities.
This cooperation between the European Agencies and the National Authorities responsible for the Coast Guard function is instrumental for the European Union as a whole and specifically for the implementation of the control regime of the Common Fisheries Policy. In particular, maritime surveillance and the use of cross cutting technologies as RPAs may turn the tide of uncompliant discarding behaviour," said Pascal Savouret, Executive Director.