On 28 September 2007, after a two-year process, NAFO agreed to significant amendments to the NAFO Convention (or the Convention on Future Multilateral Cooperation in the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries). In 2008, the French version of the proposed amended NAFO Convention was agreed, paving the way for the approval process. These amendments finally came into force on 18 May 2017 with the approval of the requisite three-fourths of the NAFO Contracting Parties.

These amendments modernize NAFO by incorporating an ecosystem approach to fisheries management. This approach includes safeguarding the marine environment, conserving marine biodiversity and minimizing the risk of long term adverse effects of fishing activities on the marine ecosystem. The amendments also streamline NAFO’s decision-making process, strengthen the obligations of Contracting Parties, Flag States and Port States, and institute a formal dispute settlement mechanism.

The constituent bodies of NAFO are: the Commission, Scientific Council, and the Secretariat, which have specific functions that are set out in the Convention, NAFO’s Rules of Procedure and Financial Regulations, and NAFO’s Staff Rules.

The number of Contracting Parties has varied over time. See the table below to view current and former Contracting Parties.

Prior to the 2007 amendments, the NAFO Convention had been amended three times (on 1 January 1980, on 9 October 1987, and 13 September 1996) to modify the annex related to certain boundaries within the NAFO Convention Area – Annex I Scientific and Statistical Subareas, Divisions and Subdivisions.


Resolutions     Rules of Procedure & Financial Regulations 

Current Contracting Parties


Instrument of Ratification • deposited on 30 November 1978


Instrument of Ratification • deposited on 22 December 1978

 Denmark (in respect of the Faroe Islands and Greenland)

Instrument of Acceptance • deposited on 30 May 1979

 European Union (EU)

Instrument of Approval • deposited on 28 December 1978

 France (in respect of St. Pierre et Miquelon)

Instrument of Accession • deposited on 14 August 1996


Instrument of Ratification • deposited on 29 December 1978


Instrument of Ratification • deposited on 4 January 1980


Instrument of Ratification • deposited on 28 December 1978


 Korea, Republic of

Instrument of Accession • deposited on 21 December 1993

 Russian Federation

from 1 January 1992
Continued from the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR);
Instrument of Acceptance • deposited on 27 December 1978


Instrument of Accession • deposited on 30 August 1999

 United States of America

Instrument of Ratification • deposited on 29 November 1995


Former Contracting Parties

Bulgaria Instrument of Ratification • deposited on 6 June 1979
withdrew 31 December 2006
Estonia Instrument of Accession • deposited on 31 August 1992
acceded to the EU
Latvia Instrument of Accession • deposited on 28 August 1992
acceded to the EU
Lithuania Instrument of Accession • deposited on 18 August 1992
acceded to the EU
Poland Instrument of Ratification • deposited on 6 November 1979
acceded to the EU
Romania Instrument of Ratification • deposited on 5 March 1979
withdrew 31 December 2002
Portugal 27 May 1979 - 31 December 1986, then Portugal acceded to the EU
Spain 31 August 1983 - 31 December 1986, then Spain acceded to the EU
German Democratic Republic 28 December 1978 - 31 December 1990, at reunification of Germany acceded to the EU
USSR 27 December 1978 - 31 December 1991, then USSR was succeeded by the Russian Federation

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


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