Frontex, in cooperation with European Fisheries Control Agency (EFCA) and the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA), has recently wrapped up the Multipurpose Maritime Operation in the Black Sea for 2022. Hosted by Bulgaria and Romania, the operation was aimed at border control including search and rescue, fisheries control and protection of environment in the Western Black Sea area.
This operation was multipurpose and focused on implementing several coast guard functions, including fighting cross-border crime, saving life at sea, detecting marine pollution and illegal fishing, border surveillance.
Frontex provided standing corps officers and an aircraft to the operation. In total, around 40 maritime assets were involved in the fourth-month long operation.
The Black Sea route has long been used by criminal networks for migrant smuggling as an alternative route to reach the Eastern Mediterranean Sea.
European cooperation on coast guard functions
Frontex, EFCA and EMSA work together with national authorities at EU maritime domain to make them EU seas safer, sustainable and more secure. The so-called coast guard functions comprise tasks such as maritime search and rescue, maritime border control, fisheries inspection and control, maritime customs activities, prevention and suppression of trafficking and smuggling and connected and connected maritime law enforcement, maritime monitoring and surveillance, maritime environmental protection and response.