North Pacific Anadromous Fish Commission

Purpose

The North Pacific Anadromous Fish Commission promotes the conservation of anadromous stocks in the Convention Area with the implementation of conservation measures, the promotion of scientific study of anadromous species and the enforcement of fishing restrictions. Currently, all directed fishing of anadromous stocks in the Convention area is prohibited.

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Photo credit: North Pacific Anadromous Fish Commission

Convention Area

The area of competence for the Commission is the waters of the North Pacific Ocean and its adjacent seas, north of 33°N latitude beyond the 200-mile exclusive economic zones of coastal States.

Species Managed

Anadromous fish are born in freshwater sources such as rivers, migrate to the ocean to mature, and return to freshwater to spawn. The anadromous fish stocks covered under the Convention are as follows: chum salmon, coho salmon, pink salmon, sockeye salmon, chinook salmon, cherry salmon and steelhead trout.

Contracting Parties

The North Pacific Anadromous Fish Commission currently comprises the following 5 Contracting Parties: Canada, Japan, the Russian Federation, the Republic of Korea and the United States.

Benefits for Canada

Some of the benefits leveraged by Canadian scientists through the North Pacific Anadromous Fish Commission include:

  • Access to data and research results from scientists in other countries which would not otherwise be available to Canadian scientists in a timely manner or at all; and
  • The ability to conduct coordinated and collaborative research to understand the extent at which anadromous fish stock can develop within the Convention Area as well as marine environmental factors including climate change that affect salmon survival and inform effective fisheries management.

Achievements

  • For conservation purposes there has not been any authorized directed fishing for anadromous stocks in the Convention area by the Contracting Parties since the coming into force of the Convention in 1993. 
  • The Commission has largely succeeded in eliminating non-Party high seas driftnet fishing directly or indirectly targeting anadromous fish.
  • The scientific work of the Commission focuses on the leading scientific questions relating to anadromous stocks in the Convention Area, such as productivity regimes, climate change, and the understanding of salmonid biology and ecology in significant geographic regions such as the Bering Sea. This is proving useful in conserving anadromous fish stocks given the Commission does not have the mandate to set or manage stock-specific catch allocations.

Canada's Leadership Role

Canada is working with the United States and Korea to develop Rules of Procedure for an Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Vessel List with a view to having a proposal ready for adoption by the Commission during the annual meeting in October 2011. The development of such vessel lists is a priority for Canada and a positive step forward for the Commission.

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