The control campaign of the blue fin tuna kicks off
For the sixth year, the European Fisheries Control Agency (EFCA) coordinates the Joint Deployment Plan (JDP) for the Blue Fin Tuna fishery in the Mediterranean Sea and the Eastern Atlantic waters for 2013. Under this JDP, Member States pool their control and inspection means, both material and human, in order to carry out jointly control, inspection and surveillance of fishery activities both at sea and ashore. All these activities are coordinated by a team of national coordinators and EFCA coordinators based in the premises of the EFCA.
The joint control, inspection and surveillance activities carried out under the JDP are coordinated by a special Technical Joint Deployment Group (TJDG) consisting of national coordinators and EFCA's own coordinators which is based in the EFCA premises in Vigo during the duration of the fishing campaign. The TJDG decides both the overall inspection and surveillance strategy and issues daily recommendations for control, inspection and surveillance activities by national and EU means, on the basis of the daily data and information received by national enforcement authorities and from ICCAT (International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tuna).
The plan bringing together the European Commission, Member States and the EFCA, counts on the resources of the seven Member States involved in the fishery - Cyprus, France, Greece, Italy, Malta, Portugal and Spain–. Croatia will participate to the JDP from the 1 July 2013, date of its accession to the European Union, and a national expert will participate as observer to the TJDG in June. Inspection and surveillance at sea is carried both in EU waters and international waters and applies to EU and non-EU vessels.
In 2013, Member States and the EFCA are mobilising six high seas patrol vessels, twenty two coastal patrol vessels and eleven aerial patrol means to ensure that the management measures of the Bluefin Tuna recovery plan are respected. In total, 179 days of sea activity, 159 days of ashore activity and 184 flight hours are scheduled to take place throughout the campaign.
The EFCA also carried out several trainings directed to prepare the EU fisheries inspectors that will be deployed during the campaign. A seminar for national inspector trainers was organized in Split (Croatia) and assistance is being provided to Cyprus, Italy, Malta and France for their national training sessions.EFCA organised additionally a specific training for inspectors deployed during the on-going BFT campaign on board patrol vessels.
At its annual meeting (Agadir, November 2012) the ICCAT adopted a recommendation with new provisions for the bluefin tuna Recovery Plan. These provisions included that the stereo video recording pilot project that was introduced in 2011 will remain a pilot project for transfers of fish at sea, but it will be compulsory at the caging operations.