European Fisheries Control Agency to become part of new European Border and Coast Guard Agency

(15/12/2015) The European Commission proposed an ambitious package of measures to establish a European Border and Coast Guard and guarantee effective border control both on land and at sea.

The proposed European Border and Coast Guard will be composed of a newly created European Border and Coast Guard Agency and the national authorities and coastguards responsible for border management.

The legislative package adopted today seeks to enhance and reinforce cooperation in order to support national authorities carrying out coastguard functions. The cooperation will include sharing information on ships and movements, providing surveillance and communication services including space-based infrastructures, sensors and drones, as well as capacity building and sharing, which also includes joint risk assessment and operations at sea.

Within this framework, the European Fisheries Control Agency will contribute substantially to improving border control: by sharing information, assets and intelligence with the new European Border and Coast Guard Agency and with the European Maritime Safety Agency. The European Fisheries Control Agency has particular know-how and experience in the global fight against illegal fishing, which is often related to other criminal activities such as drug trafficking or smuggling of people and of weapons or other goods.

Coastguard authorities carry out operational activities at sea, including border control, but also activities regarding maritime transport, fisheries control, customs, and marine pollution. Today’s legislative package therefore enhances the EU’s response capacity at sea not only in relation to border management, but also to threats and risks of other major crisis situations at sea.

About EFCA

The European Fisheries Control Agency (EFCA) is a European Union body established in 2005 to organise operational coordination of fisheries control and inspection activities by the Member States and to assist them to cooperate so as to comply with the rules of the Common EU Fisheries Policy in order to ensure its effective and uniform application. EFCA has its official seat in Vigo, Spain.

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Author: Pramod Ganapathiraju

Dr Pramod is Fisheries Consultant with extensive experience working with Governments, Researchers, NGOs and coastal fishing communities throughout the Asia and Pacific Regions, Africa, Caribbean, USA and Canada. He has published numerous articles in a range of peer-reviewed journals, books, drafted MSC Pre-Assessments and NGO reports. He has worked extensively on Illegal fishing and Monitoring Control & Surveillance projects with a focus on compliance and enforcement worldwide. With more than 18 years of global experience he is currently working on projects for various clients evaluating fisheries compliance, developing MCS operational procedures and estimating illegal fishing in several countries.Consulting and research experience spans more than 18 countries in Southeast Asia (India, Bangladesh, Thailand, Sri Lanka etc.), Western Pacific (Indonesia, Philippines), West Africa, Caribbean and North America. His consulting and research work is focused towards finding policy solutions to fisheries management issues, improving traceability, catch certification, fisheries governance and analyzing risks associated with illegal fishing products in the Global Supply Chains.

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