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Regional organization

  • Member States: Bulgaria, Canada, Cuba, Denmark (in respect of the Faroe Islands and Greenland), European Union, France (in respect of St Pierre et Miguelon), Iceland, Japan, Republic of Korea, Norway, Russian Federation, Ukraine, United States of America.

Fisheries monitored by VMS

  • All fisheries (except tuna, salmon, crab, lobster, whale and sedentary species) in the NAFO Regulatory Area, the vast majority of which are:
    • Trawl
    • Longline

Number of vessels monitored by VMS

  • 135 (of the 224 registered to conduct fishing activities in the NAFO Regulatory Area):
    • Trawl: 133
    • Longline: 2

Vessel size range (gross tons)

  • Trawl: 500 to 2 000+
  • Longline: 500 to 2 000+
  • Note: Complete information not available on the vessel sizes.

Purpose of VMS monitoring

  • To improve and maintain compliance with the Conservation and Enforcement Measures for vessels fishing in the NAFO Regulatory Area.

Security measures

  • Shipboard: tamper-proof seals over transceivers
  • Control centres: Individual security measures of Fisheries Monitoring Centre (FMC) of each flag State
  • NAFO Secretariat: Confidentiality requirements as defined in the Annex XX of the NAFO Conservation and Enforcement Measures (CEM) document (NAFO/FC Doc. 04/1), are adhered. (Note: The document NAFO/FC Doc. 04/1 can be downloaded from the NAFO Web site:www.nafo.int)

Legal framework

  • Chapter 3 Article 21 of the NAFO Conservation and Enforcement Measures (CEM) (NAFO/FC Doc. 04/1).

Funding strategy

  • Vessel operators fund transceiver purchase and installation. Flag States cover operational costs of their respective FMCs. NAFO Secretariat funds operational and maintenance costs of the VMS database server.

Staffing level

  • Within the Secretariat, the Fisheries Commission Coordinator, assisted by the Fisheries Information Manager, is responsible for VMS-related matters. Hardware administration is mainly outsourced, at present.
  • Additionally, each flag State has a designated VMS officer at the respective FMC whose duty is to oversee that VMS reports from vessels are transmitted (either automatically or manually) to the VMS database server at the NAFO Secretariat.

Additional integrated programmes

  • None


Ricardo Federizon, Coordinator to the Fisheries Commission of NAFO
Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization
PO Box 638
Nova Scotia
B2Y 3Y9
Telephone: (+902) 468 5590 (main)
Telephone: (+902) 468 3978
Fax: (+902) 468 5538
send an email
Web site: http://www.nafo.int

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