The Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organisation (NAFO) is a Regional Fisheries Management Organisation that ensures the long-term conservation and sustainable use of the fishery resources in the North-West Atlantic. The EFCA coordinates implementation of EU obligations as a NAFO Contracting Party, defined in the NAFO convention and the NAFO Conservation and Enforcement Measures (NAFO CEM). The encompassing objective of EFCA assistance to the Member State concerned is to ensure the uniform and effective implementation of the NAFO CEM applicable to stocks in the NAFO Regulatory Area (NAFO RA).
In order to meet this objective as well as European Union conservation and control measures applicable to Union fishing vessels in the NAFO RA and in accordance with Article 28 of Regulation (EU) No 2019/833, the EFCA adopted, in collaboration with the Member States concerned, a dedicated organisational framework for operational coordination of inspection and surveillance activities in this area, known as a Joint Deployment Plan (JDP).
The NAFO JDP has been operating since 2007 and currently with the participation of Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal Spain, and Sweden. Each year, EFCA coordinates the planning, implementation and assessment of the NAFO joint sea campaign at regional level, aimed at ensuring compliance with the conservation and control measures in force.
On basis of an assessment of risks of non-compliance with the applicable measures, the NAFO/NEAFC Steering Group elaborates an annual strategy for the implementation of joint inspection and surveillance activities to the relevant fisheries, which the Executive Director of EFCA adopts in a JDP Decision. The operational arrangements are developed by the NAFO/NEAFC Technical Joint Deployment Group (TJDG), which involves close collaboration with the fisheries inspection authorities of the Member States concerned.
The operational arrangements also cover regular exchanges of inspectors to joint and mixed inspection teams, at sea and ashore respectively. The work of joint and mixed inspection teams brings the most tangible evidence of a uniform and effective implementation of inspection and surveillance activities.
Furthermore, the EFCA pays special attention to the establishment and application of best practices in all aspects of joint control operations. To this end, the EFCA works closely with the European Commission and Member States concerned in various experts groups and workshops for inspectors. An additional level of assistance is provided by EFCA coordinators on the board of the Member States FPVs in their seagoing missions.
The EFCA has also been delegated by the Commission to fulfil a number of tasks related to the notification to the NAFO of the list of EU inspectors and inspection means. The EFCA also sends originals of inspection reports carried out by Member States inspectors in NAFO RA to flag states of fishing vessels with copies of inspection reports being sent to the European Commission and the NAFO Secretariat.
The JDP organisational arrangements guarantee the high level of transparency, uniformity and effectiveness of control operations through the close cooperation of the Member States concerned in the enforcement of conservation and control measures.