The European Fisheries Control Agency (EFCA) provided additional operational support as requested by Cyprus as part of of the Eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean Joint Deployment Plan (JDP).
The JDPs are the vehicle through which the EFCA organises the deployment of human and material resources of control and inspection pooled by Member States and EFCA.
A joint air surveillance campaign took place during August and September in the southern part of the Cyprus EEZ, in co-operation with Cypriot fisheries control authorities.
During this joint mission, EFCA was in the lead of the co-ordination of the operation with Cyprus authorities and the European Monitoring Team (EMT) of Frontex.
The support to Cyprus derived from a common risk analysis that have indicated this area as having a high likelihood of potential illegal fisheries activities. As a promoter of innovative technologies, EFCA co-operates closely with the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA), allowing COPERNICUS satellite services to be made available to support this specific operation in Cyprus.
The air patrol validated non-cooperating vessels – those not transmitting position – in the area of interest. In total there were around 80 flying hours performed in remote areas of Cyprus EEZ which have contributed to enhanced situational awareness and increased prevention of illicit activities.
This was the first airborne mission provided to Cyprus by EFCA in co-operation with Frontex. EFCA is ready to continue supporting MS on specific requests within the scope of JDP.