Subsequent discussions that took place at ICES and at the Overfishing Convention of 1946 (the follow-up to the 1943 Convention) dealt only with the eastern Atlantic although problems of over-exploitation Atlantic wide were recognized. At the suggestion of the USA, a separate conference was convened in Washington, DC on Jan. 26-Feb. 8 1949. It was attended by eleven countries with interests in fisheries off the east coast of North America. Delegations comprising fishery administrators, scientists and industry representatives from Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Newfoundland, Norway, Portugal, Spain, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America participated in the International Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Conference. The FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) and ICES (International Council for the Exploration of the Sea) attended as observers.
It was well understood the difficulty of the task at hand when it was stated in the report of the conference that: “The need for thorough consideration of the problems facing the Commission is paramount, and considerable time will be needed for assembling the material required for a determination of those problems”.
However, the primary purpose of that 1949 conference was to formulate a Convention (international treaty) pertaining to management of the fisheries of the Northwest Atlantic outside the territorial seas of the Coastal States, west of 42º W longitude, between 39º W and 78º 10'N latitude. The key outcome and the Final Act of the conference was the publication of a Fisheries Treaty known as the International Convention for the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries.