The EFCA coordinates joint control, inspection and surveillance activities undertaken by Member States in order that they may comply with the objectives, priorities and target inspection benchmarks laid down in Commission Implementing Decision 2014/156/EU of 19 March 2014 which establishes a SCIP for fisheries exploiting stocks of bluefin tuna in the eastern Atlantic and the Mediterranean, swordfish in the Mediterranean and stocks of sardine and anchovy in the northern Adriatic Sea. The vehicle for this coordination is the Mediterranean joint deployment plan (JDP).
The Mediterranean JDP was adopted in May 2014 and has the active participation of Croatia, Cyprus, France, Greece, Italy, Malta, Portugal, Slovenia and Spain. Joint control and inspection activities conducted under the JDP are exhaustive and based on a risk assessment approach. They cover fishing and fishing-related activities including farming, weighing, processing, marketing, transport and storage of fisheries products and sport and recreational fisheries.
The JDP is implemented based on the decisions of the Mediterranean steering group which supervises its overall strategy and orientation. Day-to-day operational activities are implemented through a technical joint deployment group and coordination centres in the Member States concerned.
The EFCA strives towards the establishment and application of best practices, working closely in this regard with the Member States in all activities under the JDP. In the field, inspectors are exchanged between Member States both at sea and ashore in order to share experience and ensure uniform procedures and implementation. In addition, specific teams are mobilised on bluefin tuna farms during the caging activities and in periods of increased activities.
In parallel, and in order to support the activities implemented under the JDP, the EFCA implements a series of training activities and participates in national training courses. Inspection checklists and common procedures are also developed to ensure the harmonisation of inspection procedures. Finally, the EFCA participates in regional and expert group meetings and provides assistance in joint missions in Member States when needed.
In summary, the Mediterranean JDP ensures common and consistent inspections, a timely exchange of operational information and ultimately an efficient and effective fisheries control system.