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Operation Driftnet

Operation Driftnet is one of the ways that the North Pacific Anadromous Fish Commission (NPAFC) enforces the United Nations ban on high seas driftnets. Members of the NPAFC include Canada, the United States, the Russian Federation, the Republic of Korea and Japan. China is also a co-operating non-party of this organization.

Through Operation Driftnet more than four million square kilometres of the North Pacific Ocean are monitored. Patrol activities take place from early spring to the fall.

Operation Driftnet patrols began in 1993 after the United Nations imposed a moratorium on large-scale High Seas driftnet fishing and banned nets more than 2.5 kilometres in length. Originally there were four Pacific nations involved (the United States, Russia, Japan and Canada); then South Korea joined in 2003; and China became involved in 2006.