Groupe de travail chargé de coordonner les statistiques des pêches (CWP)

Nationality of catch and landings

For the purpose of reporting national capture fisheries statistics, catch and landings are assigned to the country of the flag flown by the fishing vessel. However, the CWP recommends that this may be over-ridden if one of the following arrangements between a foreign flag vessel and the host country exists:

  • the vessel is chartered by a company based in the host country to augment its fishing fleet or
  • the vessel fishes for the country by joint venture contracts or similar agreements (as opposed to the ad hoc practice of a vessel selling catches to a foreign vessel or landing catches at a foreign port) and the operation of such vessel is an integral part of the economy of the host country.

In either case, the assignment of nationality to catch and landings data should be specified in the charter or joint-venture agreements. To facilitate assigning the nationality of catch and landings, the Handbook includes a list of countries and areas with ISO Alpha 2 codes, ISO Alpha 3 codes and the M49 standard ("Standard Country or Area Codes for Statistical Use" originally published as Series M, No. 49).

Resources for nationality of catch and landings

Edeson, W.R. 1999. Legal aspects of the collection of fisheries data. FAO Fisheries Circular No. 953 Rome, FAO. 18 pp. (also available at

Edeson, W.R. 2012. Fisheries data and the Law of the Sea Convention. International Journal of Marine and Coastal Law 27(4): 821-829. (also available at