Coordinating Working Party on Fishery Statistics (CWP)


The Coordinating Working Party on Fishery Statistics (CWP) provides a mechanism to coordinate the statistical programmes conducted by regional fishery bodies and other intergovernmental organizations with a remit for fishery statistics.

Shoal of Mackarel scad
Shoal of Mackarel scad (Decapterus macarellus)

Main function

Functional since 1960, the purpose of the CWP is to:

    • continually review fishery statistics requirements for research, policy-making and management;
    • agree on standard concepts, definitions, classifications and methodologies for the collection and collation of fishery statistics;
    • submit proposals for the coordination and streamlining of statistical activities among the relevant intergovernmental organizations.

Legal framework

The Working Party was established in 1959 under resolution 23/59 of the Tenth Session of the FAO Conference, under Article VI-2 of the Organization's Constitution. The Statutes of the CWP were amended and approved by the FAO Council at its Hundred and Eighth Session in June 1995. Further amendments to the rules of procedure were approved at the Twenty-third Session of the CWP in February 2010 and at the Twenty-sixth Session in May 2019. The current version of the Rules of Procedure came into force following the Twenty-seventh Session in June 2022.


SECRETARIAT: FAO serves as the CWP Secretariat.

SECRETARY: The Secretary to the Working Party shall be appointed by the FAO Director-General and shall be administratively responsible to him/her.

The CWP meets in FULL SESSION approximately every three years and carries out intersessional and ad hocmeetings as required. Each of the participating organizations may nominate up to five experts in accordance with their respective internal procedures.

During its Twenty-third Session, the CWP agreed on the creation of two subject groups, Fisheries and Aquaculture. These two groups operate independently during the intersessional period but convene during the main CWP Session; the main session oversees and coordinates the activities of the two groups, and promotes the cause of the CWP as a whole to the sessions for adoption (see Appendix 5 to the Report of the Twenty-third Session of CWP.)

Geographical coverage

Although first mandated to cover the North Atlantic fisheries, since 1995 the CWP has extended its remit to all marine water bodies.




FAO 1995. The Coordinating Working Party on Fishery Statistics: Its origin, role and structure. FAO Fisheries Circular. No. 903. Rome. pp 14.

Participating organizations