A priority established by the EFCA multiannual work programme has been to support the implementation of the landing obligation. The EFCA recommendations for the monitoring of the landing obligation were presented and discussed with stakeholders in January 2014. The Administrative Board, considering the recommendations, endorsed the launching of a project to implement the landing obligation in the framework of the JDPs in:
- the Baltic Sea (demersal and pelagic species);
- Western Waters (small pelagic species);
- the Mediterranean Sea (small pelagic species in the Adriatic Sea);
- the North Sea (demersal species).
A dedicated project was presented to each of the regional steering groups concerned and incorporated into the respective JDPs. The project has been encompassed within the control and inspection effort and sea inspections by introducing this specific objective in the JDP campaigns. Data collection of catch composition at sea (‘last haul’ data) have been undertaken, with participation of Member State inspectors and assistance from EFCA staff in the field.
The provisional results of the project are disseminated to the regional steering groups and the data collected are used for the preparation of regional risk analysis in the different areas to identify the major risks of non-compliance with the landing obligation.
The EFCA has also engaged in cooperation with the specialised control group of the regional bodies created by Member States and active in the framework of the regionalisation of the recently adopted CFP basic regulation (namely the Scheveningen, Baltfish and North Western Waters groups). This cooperation is especially important in the landing obligation in areas such as:
- risk analysis for an effective and proportionate monitoring;
- guidelines for inspectors;
- standardisation of inspection methodologies;
- evaluation of compliance.
The EFCA has also offered full cooperation with the other possible regional groups (MED, SWW, Black Sea).
Other areas of work in relation to the support on the implementation of the landing obligation have been STECF expert working groups meetings on the landing obligation in the EU, in which the EFCA has participated as an active observer. Also to be highlighted is the interaction with the advisory councils through participation in relevant meetings of the regional advisory councils.