NAFO is an intergovernmental fisheries science and management body. NAFO was founded in 1979 as a successor to ICNAF (International Commission of the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries) (1949-1978). NAFO's overall objective is to contribute through consultation and cooperation to the optimum utilization, rational management and conservation of the fishery resources of the NAFO Convention Area.
The NAFO Convention on Future Multilateral Cooperation in the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries applies to most fishery resources of the Northwest Atlantic except salmon, tunas/marlins, whales, and sedentary species (e.g. shellfish).
Currently NAFO has 12 Contracting Parties, and the following structure: