The second Steering Committee meeting of the EU-funded e-FishMed project was held in Madrid on 31 May 2023, hosted by Spain, one of the partner countries of the project. The e-FishMed project aims to set up a virtual regional academy to support the fight against IUU fishing and the control of conservation and management measures in the Mediterranean Sea, especially those adopted by the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM) and the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT).
The virtual academy will contribute to harmonise fisheries control and inspection activities and foster cooperation and exchange of best practices between northern and southern Mediterranean countries. The project will also contribute to creating the conditions for a sustainable Blue Economy in that area.
Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, and Tunisia are beneficiaries of the project and the initiative is supported by France, Italy, Malta, Portugal and Spain. In the future, the project could be extended to other Mediterranean countries. Financed by the European Union through the European Maritime Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund (EMFAF), e-FishMed is implemented by EFCA and will last until beginning of 2025.
The meeting was the occasion to review the progress made within the project during the first year of implementation, to discuss the main results achieved, and to validate the next project’s annual work plan. During this period, EFCA carried out an evaluation of the training capacities and needs in the Beneficiary Countries, developed a common/harmonised training programme, and built up the structure and the functionalities of the e-FishMed e-learning platform based on the needs and requirements of the future users.
The common training programme will contribute to a better understanding and application of the rules through a common learning path available to all the trainers in each Beneficiary Country. Moreover, the e-FishMed e-learning platform will be at the core of the project improving the effectiveness of training activities aimed to reinforce the knowledge and competencies of fisheries control and inspection staff.
The members of the e-FishMed steering committee expressed their strong commitment to support the project and agreed that cooperation and coordination among all actors are key for successful project implementation.
EFCA is a European Union agency that promotes the highest common standards for the control, inspection, and surveillance under the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). EFCA was established to organise operational coordination activities by the Member States and to assist them to cooperate so as to comply with the CFP rules in order to ensure its effective and uniform application. EFCA also supports non-EU countries in the framework of EU funded capacity building Projects.
The added value of the work of the agency lies in its contribution to sustainable fisheries by enhancing compliance with conservation and management measures and to a playing field for the fishing industry.
European Commission Communication on Sustainable Blue Economy
Joint Communication on a “Renewed partnership with the Southern Neighbourhood” issued in February 2021