New EU fisheries patrol vessels

Ocean Guardian due in port today

New EU fisheries patrol vessels 1
Ocean Guardian pictured later today in Funchal

Thanks to Jaime for a “hot off the press” news item, with the Ocean Guardian presently off the south coast of Madeira and due in the port of Funchal at 08:00 this morning, coming from Horta, Azores for a 4-day visit.

Jaime was curious as to why a North Sea offshore support vessel should be wandering about the Portuguese Archipelagos, and found the answer in a report earlier this year that the European Fisheries Control Agency´s newly-chartered EU fisheries patrol vessels were ready to go at sea. The three new EFCA´s chartered patrol vessels, will serve as additional platforms for EU fisheries inspections in European and international waters.

The EFCA has reinforced its fleet with the three new offshore fisheries patrol vessels, following the award of a public call for tender. These are the only patrol vessels whose operations are managed by an EU Agency. They have been named as Ocean Guardian, Ocean Protector and Ocean Sentinel.

All three vessels fly the Portuguese flag, and will be deployed primarily as fisheries patrol vessels to support member states in the different EFCA joint deployment plans from the Mediterranean and Black Sea to the Western Waters, North Sea, Baltic Sea, NAFO and NEAFC.

Ocean Guardian - one of the new New EU fisheries patrol vessels
Before

The vessels will also be deployed as fisheries patrol vessels in the scope of multipurpose operations in the framework of European cooperation on coast guard functions. The three vessels, during their operations, will also be available for supporting other coast guard functions, inter alia, providing support during search and rescue situations, maritime surveillance and pollution response.  In addition to seaborne means, EFCA has also contracted an aircraft to carry out aerial surveillance services for fisheries control.

 
“Today is an important milestone in the history of the Agency. The chartering of three inspection platforms marks a turning point and materializes our strong commitment to support Member States authorities and the European Commission promoting compliance with the fisheries rules, as well as contributing for safe, secure and sustainable sea. The vessels´ modern facilities and technologies ensure a safe and comfortable stay onboard. Their deployment could be seen as a specific oceans safeguarding measure which enhances the EU capacity to improve the effectiveness of fisheries control operations in the EU and beyond ”
Susan Steele, EFCA Executive Director.

JM later today issued a simple post on their website, saying that “a fishing control and inspection vessel in the European Union is moored at the South Terminal of the port of Funchal on a stopover for the inspection teams to surrender. The ship will stay in Pontinha until the 22nd of May, leaving afterwards for Cadiz”.

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