The annual report highlighted all the activities undertaken by the EFCA during that year. The meeting took place following a seminar on the five year independent external evaluation of the EFCA which conclusions have helped the Board in the issuing of recommendations to the European Commission.
This General Report has been adopted in the context of the ongoing CFP reform in the year in which the Council and the European Parliament will have their say in the legislative proposal of the Commission. In this framework, the Agency with its facilitator role, brokering operational cooperation between Member States and the Commission and giving assistance to them, is in the best position to make a tangible contribution towards the objectives of EU fisheries control policy: establishing and developing a culture of compliance and a level-playing field.
According to the annual work programme, the four JDPs implemented were the cod fisheries in the North Sea and Western Waters, cod fisheries in Baltic sea, regulated species in NAFO and NEAFC, bluefin tuna in the Mediterranean Sea and Eastern Atlantic Ocean and as for the 5 September 2011, a JDP for Pelagic in Western Waters through the adoption of a Specific Control and Inspection programme by the Commission. In particular, this JDP has been the first regional and multispecies JDP operating in European Union waters, and has the characteristic of being permanent, with continuous exchange of information as well as having full communication of results and intelligence in real time basis.
During the last three years, the days of activity of JDPs have been reasonably constant. In 2011, whilst the days of activity remained constant, there was a significant increase of the total number of inspections from last year. The total number of inspections coordinated in the framework of the JDPs during 2011 is approaching 10000 in the JDPs coordinated by the EFCA.
It can be observed that the ration of infringements at sea and ashore has been decreasing in the past years. This decrease can be observed against a scenario of increased number of inspections, and the progressive introduction of a risk assessment approach with an increased infringement detection rate for target vessels. Based on this figures, it is difficult to conclude if compliance levels are increasing, as many other factors could be involved in this issue. Yet, this trend is certainly encouraging for all parties involved in fisheries control.
One of the key aspects in the promotion of a level playing field is the creation of joint teams of inspectors of different nationalities and the training of inspectors. During 2011, approximately, 1600 man/days were deployed in joint teams and a total of nearly 300 staff members from Member States received training for regional JDPs.
In the area of Capacity Building to apply the rules of the Common Fisheries Policy by Member States in a uniform way, the agency has worked in the areas of data monitoring and networks, training and pool capacities.
Seminar on the five year independent external evaluation of the EFCA
The day before the Administrative Board meeting, a seminar was organised on the five year independent external evaluation of the EFCA. It was be a forum were open discussions took place debating and analyzing the work that has been done since the setting up of the EFCA and its way forward. Representatives of the Administrative Board as well as several stakeholders participated in the conference which conclusions and feedback would bring valuable input to the Board in the issuing of recommendations to the European Commission.
Proposed Draft Budget for 2012
The proposed draft budget for 2013 is the same as the final budget for 2012: €9,216,900.
“The EFCA will be working with the same determination and even more ambition in the difficult context of financial and staff constraints. I am confident that together, in cooperation with the European Commission and the Member States, we will be able to deliver the best results and an effective European added value,” said Pascal Savouret, Executive Director.