FISHERIES : COMMUNITY CONTROL AGENCY REACHES CRUISING SPEED.
Almost two years after setting up its official seat in Vigo (Spain), in July 2008, the Community Fisheries Control Agency (CFCA) seems to be gradually reaching cruising speed. Its rate of activity virtually doubled between 2007 and 2009. According to the Activity report 2009', published by the Agency on 19 March, six joint deployment plans (JDPs) were implemented in 2009, two more than in 2008. The agency's control activities now cover the fisheries regulatory areas of the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organisation (NAFO) and the North East Atlantic Fisheries Commission (NEAFC) as well as cod fishing in the North and Baltic Seas and Western waters and tuna fishing in the Mediterranean and the Eastern Atlantic ( ICCAT, International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas).
Generally speaking, notes the report, inspections under the JDPs and coordination with the member states have increased, making it possible to identify and sanction a growing number of violations. The ratio of inspections to infringements is a good indicator of compliance with Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) rules, explains the agency.
The increase in JDP operations carried out in Community waters is primarily due to the increase in the number of days of activity related to the start-up of control operations for cod in Western waters. On the other hand, the number of days of operation in the framework of the JDP in non-Community waters governed by the regional fisheries management organisations (RFMOs) - NAFO, NEAFC, ICCAT - declined from 2008, particularly due to the fact that activity in such waters is regulated in terms of specifically defined fishing periods. According to the agency, this decline is also due to the reduction of the European fleet's activities in some of these zones and better planning of operations on the basis of experience acquired with previous JDPs and more relevant risk analyses.
GOOD EXAMPLE OF TUNA
The agency gives emphasis to controls on bluefin tuna and the first-ever use, in 2009, of the Fisheries Data Surveillance Centre. This mechanism gives it access to the data of nine member states. It also permits reception of VMS (satellite vessel monitoring system) data from 12 non-EU countries that are ICCAT contracting parties. Overall, no fewer than 1.5 million VMS messages were received during the 2009 fishing year. Relevant risk analyses and timely deployment were consistent with the fishing patterns foreseen for 2009. The system has proved very satisfactory since all catches landed have been controlled, concludes the agency.
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|Date:||Apr 8, 2010|
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