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  1. Introduction
  2. Mandate
  3. History
  4. Legal framework
  5. Area of competence
  6. Species and stocks coverage
  7. Members
  8. Structure
  9. EIMS Publications Database
  10. Social network
  11. Contact
Introduction

The North Pacific Fisheries Commission (NPFC) is a regional fisheries management organization established by the “Convention on the Conservation and Management of High Seas Fisheries Resources in the North Pacific Ocean” whose purpose is the management of high seas fisheries resources in the North Pacific Ocean and protection of marine ecosystems in which these resources occur. The Commission assesses between one and ten fish stocks on a regular basis and manages up to ten fisheries. In 2021, between 1,000 and 3,000 vessels were authorized to fish. NPFC established a system for listing IUU vessels and a list of authorized fishing vessels and a conservation and management measure on transshipment procedures in 2016. No specific port State measures have been established. According to the Convention, conservation and management measures shall be based upon the principles of best scientific information available, precautionary approach and an ecosystem approach to fisheries.

Mandate

The mandate of the North Pacific Fisheries Commission (NPFC) is to ensure the long-term conservation and sustainable use of the fisheries resources in its area of competence, while protecting the marine ecosystems of the North Pacific Ocean. The Commission shall, based on the best scientific information available, have the following functions:

  • (a) adopt conservation and management measures to ensure the long-term sustainability of the fisheries resources within the Convention Area, including the total allowable catch or total allowable level of fishing effort for those fisheries resources as the Commission may decide;
  • (b) ensure that levels of total allowable catch or total allowable level of fishing effort are in accordance with the advice and recommendations of the Scientific Committee;
  • (c) adopt and implement, where necessary, conservation and management measures for species belonging to the same ecosystem or dependent upon or associated with the target stocks;
  • (d) adopt and implement, where necessary, management strategies for any fisheries resources and for species belonging to the same ecosystem or dependent upon or associated with the target stocks;
  • (e) adopt and implement conservation and management measures to prevent significant adverse impacts on vulnerable marine ecosystems in the Convention Area;
  • (f) determine the nature and extent of participation in existing fisheries, including through the allocation of fishing opportunities;
  • (g) establish by consensus the terms and conditions for any new fisheries in the Convention Area and the nature and extent of participation in such fisheries, including through the allocation of fishing opportunities; and
  • (h) agree on means by which the fishing interests of new Contracting Parties may be accommodated in a manner consistent with the need to ensure the long-term sustainability of the fisheries resources covered by the Convention.
  • (i) The Commission shall adopt and implement measures to ensure effective monitoring, control and surveillance, as well as compliance with and enforcement of the provisions of this Convention and measures adopted pursuant to the NPFC Convention
History

Informal consultations on the idea of a North Pacific Fisheries Commission to bridge the gap in regional fisheries management of deep sea fish and protection of marine ecosystems began in 2006. These were followed by formal consultations and then Preparatory Conferences which culminated in the signing of the Convention on the Conservation and Management of the High Seas Fisheries Resources in the North Pacific Ocean, on 24 February 2012, and coming into force of the North Pacific Fisheries Commission (NPFC) on 19 July 2015, 180 days after receipt of the fourth ratification.

The first meeting of the Commission took place in Tokyo, Japan, on 3 September 2015. The Commission established its subsidiary bodies to assist its work, namely Technical and Compliance Committee and Scientific Committee in 2016, and Finance and Administration Committee in 2017. During its initial four-year period, NPFC made significant progress in the management of fisheries resources and protection of marine ecosystems by adopting thirteen Conservation and Management Measures. For the conservation and management of fisheries resources and protection of marine biodiversity, NPFC actively cooperated with other regional fisheries management organizations and relevant international organizations with similar mandates, including FAO ABNJ Deep-Sea Project, COFI, RSN, UN BBNJ, UNFSA, NPAFC, PICES, and WCPFC. The Commission was formed to address the growing global concern regarding fishing activities on the ecosystem, especially the potential negative impact on the bottom fisheries in the deep sea. This deep sea fishery was very important to some of the Members initially, however due to the decline in the stock status, this fishery has been reduced to only five fishing vessels, and the rapid expansion of the small pelagics fisheries has taken a greater profile in the Commission, with current scientific effort focused on eight priority species. Ongoing efforts are focused on stock assessment for these initial eight target species and compliance with their accompanying conservation and management measures to ensure sustainable management of the fisheries and protection of their ecosystems. To date, NPFC has eight Members: Canada, China, Japan, Korea, Russia, Chinese Taipei, the USA and Vanuatu. The Commission also has one Cooperating non-Contracting party, Panama.

Legal framework Area of competence

NPFC has competence over the waters of the high seas area of the North Pacific Ocean, excluding the high seas areas of the Bering Sea and other high seas areas that are surrounded by the exclusive economic zone of a single State. The area of application is bounded to the south by a continuous line beginning at the seaward limit of waters under the jurisdiction of the United States of America around the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands at twenty (20) degrees North latitude, then proceeding East and connecting the following coordinates:

  • 20°00'00”N, 180°00'00"E/W;
  • 10°00'00"N, 180°00'00"E/W;
  • 10°00'00"N, 140°00'00"W;
  • 20°00'00"N, 140°00'00"W; and
  • thence East to the seaward limit of waters under the fisheries jurisdiction of Mexico.
NPFC area of competence - High seas
The boundaries and names shown and the designations used on this map do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of FAO concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers and boundaries. Dashed lines on maps represent approximate border lines for which there may not yet be full agreement.
Species and stocks coverage

NPFC covers all fish, mollusks, crustaceans and other marine species caught by fishing vessels within the Convention Area, excluding:

(i) sedentary species insofar as they are subject to the sovereign rights of coastal States; and indicator species of vulnerable marine ecosystems as listed in, or adopted pursuant to the NPFC Convention;

(ii) catadromous species;

(iii) marine mammals, marine reptiles and seabirds; and

(iv) other marine species already covered by pre-existing international fisheries management instruments within the area of competence of such instruments.

Languages

English.

Members

Member: Canada, China, Japan, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation , Chinese Taipei , United States of America, Vanuatu.

Cooperating Non-contracting Party:: Panama. (since 29 November 2019)

Structure

Commission: is formed by all its Members and Cooperating Non-Contracting Parties. The Commission is supported by three subsidiary bodies.

Subsidiary Bodies:

    The Scientific Committee (SC): provides scientific advice and recommendations in accordance with the terms of reference for the Committee. At present under the Scientific Committee, there are three such groups: the Small Scientific Committee on Pacific Saury (SSC PS); the Small Scientific Committee on Bottom Fish and Marine Ecosystems (SSC BF-ME); and the Technical Working Group on Chub Mackerel Stock Assessment (TWG CMSA).

    The Technical and Compliance Committee (TCC): monitors and reviews compliance with conservation and management measures adopted by the Commission and makes recommendations to the Commission as may be necessary; and reviews the implementation of cooperative measures for monitoring, control, surveillance and enforcement adopted by the Commission and makes recommendations to the Commission as may be necessary. It used to have four small working groups (SWGs) but decided to combine these into two (2) groups: SWG on Planning & Development and SWG on Operations.

The Finance and Administration Committee (FAC): provides advice and recommendations to the Commission on matters related to the budget, finance and administration of the Commission in accordance with the terms of reference for the Committee.

Organogram
EIMS Publications Database Social network Media materials Web sources

Contact

Dae Yeon Moon (Executive Secretary)

North Pacific Fisheries Commission

2F Hakuyo-Hall. Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology, 4-5-7 Konan, Minato-ku Tokyo 108-8477 (Japan)

Telephone: +81 3 5479 8717

Fax: +81 3 5479 8718

Email: secretariat@npfc.int

Email: executive.secretary@npfc.int

Email: [email protected]

Web site: https://www.npfc.int

 
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