Scientists from many different country, and areas of expertise, cooperate within NAFO to coordinate research in the NAFO Regulatory Area.
Some of the important research carried out by Scientific Council participants is related to fish stock assessment in the NAFO area. In addition, other relevant marine research topics are reviewed and discussed thus ensuring that NAFO science is using modern and updated methods and approaches. For example, most recently, NAFO Scientific Council participants developed a NAFO Precautionary Approach which was adopted in 2004. Recognizing the importance of general research topics for NAFO-related scientific work, NAFO publishes the Journal of Northwest Atlantic Fishery Science that focuses on environmental, biological, ecological and fishery aspects of living marine resources and ecosystems of the Northwest Atlantic.
Recently the NEREIDA Expedition carried out research in the NAFO Regulatory Area. This project was multidisciplinary research of the sensitive habitats and fishing activities as well as analysis of the fishing resources for the study and protection of the vulnerable ecosystems.
NAFO also organizes symposia, conferences, and scientific workshops, and it sponsors invited speakers to Scientific Council meetings and other scientific NAFO events. Most recently, NAFO hosted the Elasmobranch Symposium (2002), a mini-Symposium on Environmental Conditions in NAFO Waters (2003), a Geostatistics Workshop (2003), and a Symposium on the Flemish Cap Ecosystem (2004).
The data generated by NAFO-related research and/or reviewed by NAFO Scientific Council is archived by the NAFO Secretariat, most importantly fishery catch and effort statistics for the Northwest Atlantic, inventories of sampling data conducted by all Contracting Parties, meta-information on vessel surveys, and individual research documents (SCR) considered in the Scientific Council meetings.
NAFO Scientific Council takes a keen interest in the exchange of information and close cooperation with other relevant international organizations.