The EFCA evaluates Compliance
Following the five year external evaluation of the European Fisheries Control Agency activities, the EFCA Administrative Board asked to develop a method for assessing the cost-effectiveness of control operations for Member States. Subsequently, the creation of two Focus Groups to evaluate general trends in compliance levels and to assess cost effectiveness of control operations was included in the Multiannual Work Programme for 2013-2017 and the work programme for 2013.
The EFCA seminar for 2013, entitled “Compliance Evaluation” took place in Vigo on 26-27 June 2013. The seminar was attended by representatives from Member States, the European Commission, scientific institutions, RFMO representative and stakeholder representatives (Regional Advisory Councils - RACs).
The discussions were organised around the need, methods and process for compliance evaluation.
It was recognised that the new CFP would raise new challenges in compliance that would have to be addressed
The seminar agreed to the following statement:
On compliance dynamics and fisheries management measures
- Compliance dynamics depends on different and interdependent factors such as management measures, control and enforcement policy, industry acceptance of the regulatory framework, economic incentives, level playing field, and degree of involvement of different stakeholders.
- Different fisheries management measures call for different control and enforcement strategies and thus has implications in terms of costs and compliance levels.
- Compliance and controllability should be considered both when developing and assessing fisheries management measures and sustainability measures.
- Increased cooperation between scientific bodies and control authorities on compliance evaluation and compliance dynamics can bring mutual advantages.
- In addition to control and inspection activities, compliance could be addressed through complementary measures e.g. self-management, sharing of responsibilities and codes of practice in order to promote the commitment of stakeholders, leading to better acceptance of the rules by the industry.
On promoting a “result-based” approach to joint control operations
- The risk basis, –effectiveness and costs are important considerations when deciding what control strategy should be developed and what control effort should be deployed.
- Control operations should be informed by a measure of results – compliance and level playing field – and a measure of costs.
On methods for compliance evaluation:
- It is of utmost importance to develop robust, simple and cost-effective methods for the evaluation of compliance levels on a regional / fishery basis.
- Compliance evaluation methods could be combined into a regional “compliance index”. In this context, estimation of the level of “under-recorded” catches may be explored, as the most representative indicator to which different types of non-compliant behaviour ultimately lead.