The Commission

The Commission is the amalgamation of the General Council (GC) and the Fisheries Commission (FC), which occurred when the Amended Convention entered into force on May 18, 2017.

The Commission is to supervise and coordinate the organizational, administrative, financial and other internal affairs of the Organization, including the relations among its constituent bodies and external relations of the Organization. Each Contracting Party is a member and appoints to the Council up to three representatives.

The Commission regularly reviews the status of fish stocks and identifies actions required for their conservation and management, by collecting, analyzing and disseminating relevant information; The Commission develops guidelines for the conduct of fishing activities for scientific purposes; and develops guidelines for the collection, submission, verification, access to and use of data.

The Commission is responsible for the management and conservation of the fishery resources of the Regulatory Area. The Commission adopts proposals for joint action by the Contracting Parties designed to achieve optimum utilization of the fishery resources of the Regulatory Area. In considering such proposals, the Commission takes into account any relevant information or advice provided to it by the Scientific Council. The Commission seeks to ensure consistency between:

  • any proposal that applies to a stock or group of stocks occurring both within the Regulatory Area and within an area under the fisheries jurisdiction of a Coastal State, or any proposal that would have an effect through species interrelationships on a stock or group of stocks occurring in whole or in part within an area under the fisheries jurisdiction of a Coastal State; and
  • any measures or decision taken by the coastal State for the management and conservation of that stock or group of stocks with respect to fishing activities conducted within the area under its fisheries jurisdiction.

The Commission may refer to the Scientific Council any question pertaining to the scientific basis for the decisions it may need to take concerning fishery resources, the impact of fishing activities on living resources, and the safeguarding of the ecosystem in which these resources are found.

The Commission collaborates with Scientific Council in the conservation and management measures to minimize the impact of fishing activities on living resources and their ecosystems, total allowable catches and/or levels of fishing effort and determine the nature and extent of participation in fishing.

The chairperson of the Commission also serves as President for NAFO.

Chair: Stéphane Artano (France in respect of St. Pierre et Miquelon)
Vice-Chair: Temur Tairov (Russian Federation)

The Commission has two Standing Committees:


STACFAD = Standing Committee on Finance and Administration

STACFAD advises the Commission on:

  • matters relating to the Secretariat;
  • the budget of the Organization;
  • the time and place of meetings of the Organization; and
  • publications of the Organization.

STACFAD consists of representatives from at least five Contracting Parties. These representatives are assisted by experts and advisers. 

Chair: Deirdre Warner-Kramer (USA)
Vice-Chair: Elise Lavigne (Canada)

Standing Committee on International Control (STACTIC)

Activities of STACTIC involve:

  • review and evaluate the effectiveness of the Conservation and Enforcement Measures established by the Commission;
  • review and evaluate the compliance by Contracting Parties with the Conservation and Enforcement Measures established by the Commission;
  • review and evaluate reports on the inspection and surveillance activities carried out by the Contracting Parties;
  • review and evaluate reports on infringements, including serious infringements, and the follow-up thereto by the Contracting Party;
  • produce an annual report on compliance by all Contracting Parties for the preceding calendar year. The report shall be based on a comprehensive provisional compilation by the Executive Secretary of relevant reports submitted by Contracting Parties and any other information available to the Executive Secretary. This compilation shall be dispatched to all Contracting Parties together with the draft provisional agenda pursuant to Rule 4.1;
  • promote the co-ordination of inspection and surveillance activities carried out by the Contracting Parties;
  • develop inspection methodologies;
  • consider the practical problems of international measures of control;
  • consider such other technical matters as may be referred to it by the Commission;
  • obtain and compile all available information on the fishing activities of non-Contracting Parties in the Regulatory Area, including details on the type, flag and name of vessels and reported or estimated catches by species and area;
  • obtain and compile all available information on landings, and transshipments of fish caught in the Regulatory Area by non-Contracting Parties, including details on the name and flag of the vessels; the quantities by species landed, transshipped; and the countries and ports through which the product was shipped;
  • examine and assess all options open to NAFO Contracting Parties including measures to control imports of fish caught by non-Contracting Party vessels in the Regulatory Area and to prevent the reflagging of fishing vessels to fish under the flags of non-Contracting Parties; and
  • make appropriate recommendations to the Commission.

STACTIC consists of one representative from each Commission member who is assisted by experts and advisers.

Chair: Judy Dwyer (Canada)
Vice-Chair: Aronne Spezzani (EU)

  • Allocation of Catches
  • Proposals on International Measures
  • Membership

Allocation of Catches

Proposals adopted by the Commission for the allocation of catches in the Regulatory Area take into account the interests of Commission members whose vessels have traditionally fished within that Area, and, in the allocation of catches from the Grand Bank and Flemish Cap, Commission members give special consideration to the Contracting Party whose coastal communities are primarily dependent on fishing for stocks related to these fishing banks and which has undertaken extensive efforts to ensure the conservation of such stocks through international action, in particular, by providing surveillance and inspection of international fisheries on these banks under an international scheme of joint enforcement,

Proposals on International Measures

The Commission also adopts proposals for international measures of control and enforcement within the Regulatory Area for the purpose of ensuring within the Area the application of this Convention and the measures in force there under. Proposals adopted by the Commission are transmitted by the Executive Secretary to all Contracting Parties and each proposal adopted by the Commission becomes a measure binding on all Contracting Parties (unless a Commission Member presents an objection).


The membership of the Commission is reviewed and determined by the Commission at its annual meeting and consists of:

  • each Contracting Party which participates in the fisheries of the Regulatory Area; and

  • each Contracting Party which has provided evidence satisfactory to the Commission that it expects to participate in the fisheries of the Regulatory Area during the year of that annual meeting or during the following calendar year.



Head of Delegation, September 2018



Contact us

Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization
2 Morris Drive, Suite 100
(Burnside Industrial Park)
Dartmouth, Nova Scotia
Canada B3B 1K8

Tel: +1 902 468-5590
Fax: +1 902 468-5538