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International cooperation in the standardization of statistical data takes place in a body known as the Coordinating Working Party on Fisheries Statistics (CWP) , for which the Food and Agriculture Organization provides the secretariat. The CWP has evolved from its origins as the "Continuing Working Party" of a meeting of experts on fisheries statistics in 1959, called by various international organisations to co-ordinate the collection of fishery statistics for the North Atlantic and to establish common definitions and classifications.

Since then the CWP has extended its area of interest to cover marine fisheries globally and its membership has been extended to reflect this. It retains much of its original purpose, as it seeks to keep under continuous review the requirements for fishery statistics for research, policy-making and management. It agrees to standard concepts, definitions, classifications and methodologies for the collection and collation of fishery statistics, and makes proposals for the co-ordination of statistical activities amongst relevant intergovernmental organizations.
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