The first workshop under Portuguese chairmanship took place in Madeira. The workshop was jointly organised with EFCA and built on the challenges and conclusions that emerged from the EFCA workshop in Bruges. Geert Devogel from the Sea Fisheries Service, Vicky Vangeel from the Maritime Police, Sofie Rommelaere for Maritime Services and Coast and Eefje Deweer from the Coast Guard Secretariat attended this workshop. They gained insight into smartphone applications to monitor fish at all stages of the food chain. You could trace the fish sold at the fish market via a QR code to just before the catch. The latest technologies were also sometimes viewed critically, there are challenges in the use of data, the analysis of data becomes almost problematic due to its quantity, although there are techniques like AI that can be applied for this purpose. However, before that happens, the legislative framework for this needs to be tinkered . Different insights and applications regarding the use of RPAS and ROVs were explained. Portugal is very lucky to have an exclusive zone to test the latest technologies.
Under the Belgian Presidency, Ms Nathalie Balcaen, Flemish Chair of the Policy Body drew attention to the Olivia project. During the secretariat meeting organized back to back with the workshop, Portugal proposed to integrate a panel discussion focusing on 'women in coast guard positions' into the Frontex workshop. A small survey will be developed beforehand with the support of the Belgian Coast Guard administration to survey Member States on ongoing projects in this framework and to collect figures. A first impetus will be given during the EMSA workshop in March. In addition, a manual for the organisation of this forum was also designed under the Belgian presidency; this is proposed for inclusion as an annex to the terms of reference.