EFCA is coordinating the control campaign for the bluefin tuna fishery (BFT) in the Mediterranean Sea for 2021 in the framework of its Joint Deployment Plan (JDP). In this context, Member States pool their control and inspection means, in order to carry out jointly control, inspection and surveillance of fishery activities both at sea and ashore.
The objective of the campaign is to ensure compliance with the international and EU rules adopted for the conservation of the bluefin tuna; special attention is given to monitor the activity of purse seiners towing vessels longliners, farms and traps.
This activity is bringing together Member States, the European Commission and EFCA, and counts on the resources of the eight Member States involved in the fishery – Croatia, Cyprus, France, Greece, Italy, Malta, Portugal, and Spain –. Inspection and surveillance at sea is carried both in EU waters and international waters and applies to EU and non-EU vessels.
The joint control, inspection and surveillance activities are coordinated using the virtual EFCA coordination center platform, with participation of experts of the member States concerned and EFCA. Overall, inspection and surveillance strategy and daily recommendations are provided on the basis of the daily data and information received by national authorities and from ICCAT, in particular VMS data (Vessel Monitoring System, a satellite-based control system) and catch information.
In line with ICCAT Recommendation 19-04, the purse seine fishing for bluefin tuna shall be permitted in the eastern Atlantic and the Mediterranean during the period from 26 May to 1 July. However, specific derogations are possible in some fishing areas.
Fish shall be caged before 22 August of each year unless the farming Contracting Parties and Cooperating non-Contracting Parties (CPC) receiving the fish provides valid reasons including force majeure, which shall accompany the caging report when submitted. In any case the fish shall not be caged after 7 September.
 By way of derogation, the season in the eastern Mediterranean Sea (FAO fishing areas 37.3.1 Aegean; 37.3.2 Levant), may be open 15 May if a CPC requests it in its fishing plan. By way of derogation, the season in the Adriatic Sea (FAO fishing area 37.2.1) may be open from 26 May until 15 July, for fish farmed in the Adriatic Sea.