On 25 September, a Joint Action Day (JAD), part of a large scale JAD concept, has taken place in the framework of EMPACT (European Multidisciplinary Platform against Criminal Threats), to coordinate specifically the Operational Action (OA) on Illegal Fishing. The leader of the OA is Portugal, EFCA is co-leader and the OA is teaming up EU Agencies (Europol, Eurojust and Frontex) and Member States Estonia, Greece, Spain, France, Croatia, Italia, Malta, Romania law enforcement and fisheries control communities as well as Interpol.
The JAD has brought law enforcement and fisheries authorities closer for a common effort, which is expected to result in an enhanced cooperation effort across EU Member States, aimed to contribute to overall objective of EMPACT ENVICRIME: identify, deter and disrupt illegal fishing activities and related crimes, led by organised crime groups.
Since the EU agency dedicated to Fisheries Control, which cooperates with Justice and Home Affairs Agencies as EUROPOL, EUROJUST and FRONTEX, has been playing a significant role in the activities related with JAD planning, implementation and evaluation, EFCA Coordination Centre in Vigo has been used as a melting pot where fisheries and law enforcement communities were present and have shared relevant information, as well as analysed specific cases related to the JAD objectives. In addition to that, EFCA’s chartered offshore patrol vessel Lundy Sentinel as multipurpose platform contributed to information collection, analysis and sharing.
“This new development could be a turning point in fisheries and law enforcement cooperation” said Pascal Savouret, EFCA Executive Director.