NORTH-EAST ATLANTIC FISHERIES CONVENTION
London, 24 January 1959
The States Parties to this Convention
Desiring to ensure the conservation of the fish stocks and the
rational exploitation of the fisheries of the North-East Atlantic
Ocean and adjacent waters, which are of common concern to them;
Have agreed as follows:
1. The area to which this Convention applies (hereinafter referred
to as "the Convention area") shall be all waters which are
a) within those parts of the Atlantic and Arctic Oceans and their
dependent seas which lie north of 36 deg north latitude and
between 42 deg west longitude and 51 deg east longitude, but
(i) the Baltic Sea and Belts lying to the south and east of lines
drawn from Hasenere Head to Gniben Point, from Korshage to
Spodsbierg and from Gilbierg Head to the Kullen, and
(ii) the Mediterranean Sea and its dependent seas as far as the
point of intersection of the parallel of 36 deg latitude and the
meridian of 5 deg 36 min west longitude.
b) within that part of the Atlantic Ocean north of 59 deg north
latitude and between 44 deg west longitude and 42 deg west
2. The Convention area shall be divided into regions, the
boundaries of which shall be those defined in the Annex to this
Convention. The regions shall be subject to such alterations as
may be made in accordance with the provisions of paragraph (4) of
Article 5 of this Convention.
3. For the purposes of this Convention
a) the expression "vessel" means any vessel or boat employed in
fishing for sea fish or in the treatment of sea fish which is
registered or owned in the territories of, or which flies the flag
of, any Contracting States and;
b) the expression "territories" in relation to any Contracting
State, extends to
(i) any territory within or adjacent to the Convention area for
whose international relations the Contracting State is
(ii) any other territory, not situated within the Convention area
or adjacent to it, for whose international relations the
Contracting State is responsible and for which such State shall
have made known, by written declaration to the Government of the
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (hereinafter
referred to as the Government of the United Kingdom), either at
the time of signature, of ratification, or of adherence, or
subsequently, that this Convention shall apply to it;
(iii) the waters within the Convention area where the Contracting
State has exclusive jurisdiction over fisheries.
Nothing in this Convention shall be deemed to affect the rights,
claims, or views of any Contracting State in regard to the extent
of jurisdiction over fisheries.
1. A North-East Atlantic Fisheries Commission (hereinafter
referred to as the Commission) is hereby established and shall be
maintained for the purposes of this Convention.
2. Each Contracting State may appoint as its Delegation to the
Commission not more than two Commissioners and such experts and
advisors to assist them as that State may determine.
3. The Commission shall elect its own President and not more than
two Vice-Presidents who need not be chosen from the Commissioners
or their experts or advisers. If a member of a Delegation has been
elected President he shall forthwith cease to act as a member of
that Delegation, and if a Commissioner has been elected the State
concerned shall have the right to appoint another person to serve
in his place.
4. The Office of the Commission shall be in London.
5. Except where the Commission determines otherwise, it shall meet
once a year in London at such time as it shall decide: provided,
however, that upon the request of a Commissioner of a Contracting
State, the President shall, as soon as practicable, summon a
meeting at such time and place as he may determine.
6. The Commission shall appoint its own Secretary and may from
time to time appoint such other staff as it may require.
7. The Commission may set up such Committees as it considers
desirable to perform such functions as it may determine.
8. Each Delegation shall have one vote in the Commission which may
be cast only by a Commissioner of the State concerned. Decisions
shall be taken by a simple majority except where otherwise
specifically provided. If there is an even division of votes on
any matter which is subject to a simple majority decision, the
proposal shall be regarded as rejected.
9. Subject to the provisions of this Article, the Commission shall
draw up its own Rules of Procedure, including provisions for the
election of the President and Vice-Presidents and their terms of
10. The Government of the United Kingdom shall call the first
meeting of the Commission as soon as practicable after the coming
into force of this Convention, and shall communicate the
provisional agenda to each of the other Contracting States not
less than two months before the date of the meeting.
11. Reports of the proceedings of the Commission shall be
transmitted and proposals and recommendations shall be notified as
soon as possible to all Contracting States in English and in
1. Each Contracting State shall pay the expense of the
Commissioners, experts and advisers appointed by it.
2. The Commission shall prepare an annual budget of the proposed
expenditures of the Commission.
3. In any year in which the annual budget amounts to 200 pounds or
less for each Contracting State the total sum shall be shared
equally between Contracting States.
4. In any year in which the annual budget exceeds
200 pounds for each Contracting State, the Commission shall
calculate the payments due from each Contracting State according
to the following formula:
a) from the budget there shall be deducted a sum of 200 pounds for
each Contracting State;
b) the remainder shall be divided into such number of equal shares
as correspond to the total number of Regional Committee
c) the payment due from any Contracting State shall be the
equivalent of 200 pounds plus the number of shares equal to the
number of Regional Committees in which that State participates.
5. The Commission shall notify to each Contracting State the sum
due from that State as calculated under paragraph (3) or (4) of
this Article and as soon as possible thereafter each Contracting
State shall pay to the Commission the sum so notified.
6. Contributions shall be payable in the currency of the country
in which the Office of the Commission is located, except that the
Commission may accept payment in the currencies in which it may be
expected that expenditures of the Commission will be made from
time to time, up to an amount established each year by the
Commission when preparing the annual budget.
7. At its first meeting the Commission shall approve a budget for
the balance of the first financial year in which the Commission
functions and shall transmit to the Contracting States copies of
that budget together with notices of their respective
contributions as assessed under paragraph (3) or (4) of this
8. In subsequent financial years, the Commission shall submit to
each Contracting State drafts of annual budgets, together with a
schedule of allocations, not less than six weeks before the annual
meeting of the Commission at which the budgets are to be
1. The Commission shall establish a Regional Committee, with the
powers and duties described in Article 6 of this Convention, for
each of the regions into which the Convention area is divided.
2. The representation on any Regional Committee so established
shall be determined by the Commission, provided, however, that any
Contracting State with a coastline adjacent to that region, or
exploiting the fisheries of the region, has automatically the
right of representation on the Regional Committee. Contracting
States exploiting elsewhere a stock which is also fished in that
region shall have the opportunity of being represented on the
3. Subject to the provisions of Article 6 of this Convention, the
Commission shall determine the terms of reference of, and the
procedure to be followed by, each Regional Committee.
4. The Commission may at any time alter the boundaries and vary
the number of the regions defined in the Annex to this Convention,
provided this is by the unanimous decision of the Delegations
present and voting and no objection is made within three months
thereafter by any Contracting States not represented, or not
voting, at the meeting.
1. It shall be the duty of the Commission:
a) to keep under review the fisheries in the Convention area:
b) to consider, in the light of the technical information
available, what measures may be required for the conservation of
the fish stocks and for the rational exploitation of the fisheries
in the area;
c) to consider, at the request of any Contracting State,
representations made to it by a State which is not a party to this
Convention for the opening of negotiations on the conservation of
fish stocks in the Convention area or any part thereof; and
d) to make to Contracting States recommendations, based as far as
practicable on the results of scientific research and
investigation, with regard to any of the measures set out in
Article 7 of this Convention.
2. It shall be the duty of a Regional Committee to perform, in
relation to its Region, functions of review and consideration
similar to those described in paragraph (1) of this Article in
relation to the Commission and the Convention area. A Regional
Committee may initiate proposals for measures in relation to its
region and shall consider any such proposals as may be remitted to
it by the Commission.
3. A Regional Committee may prepare draft recommendations for
consideration by the Commission, which may adopt any such draft
recommendations, with any modifications it may consider desirable,
as recommendations for the purpose of Article 7 of this
4. A Regional Committee may at any time appoint sub-committees to
study specific problems affecting parts of the Region and to
report thereon to the Regional Committee.
1. The measures relating to the objectives and purposes of this
Convention which the Commission and Regional Committees may
consider, and on which the Commission may make recommendaions to
the Contracting States, are
a) any measures for the regulation of the size of mesh of fishing
b) any measures for regulation of the size limits of fish that may
be retained on board vessels, or landed, or exposed or offered for
c) any measures for the establishment of closed seasons;
d) any measures for the establishment of closed areas;
e) any measures for the regulation of fishing gear and appliances,
other than regulation of the size of mesh of fishing nets;
f) any measures for the improvement and the increase of marine
resources, which may include artificial propagation, the
transplantation of organisms and the transplantation of young.
2. Measures for regulating the amount of total catch, or the
amount of fishing effort in any period, or any other kinds of
measures for the purpose of the conservation of the fish stocks in
the Convention area, may be added to the measures listed in
paragraph (1) of this Article on a proposal adopted by not less
than a two-thirds majority of the Delegations present and voting
and subsequently accepted by all Contracting States in accordance
with their respective constitutional procedures.
3. The measures provided for in paragraphs (1) and (2) of this
Article may relate to any or all species of sea fish and shell
fish, but not to sea mammals; to any or all methods of fishing;
and to any or all parts of the methods of fishing; and to any or
all parts of the Convention area.
1. Subject to the provisions of this Article, the Contracting
States undertake to give effect to any recommendation made by the
Commission under Article 7 of this Convention and adopted by not
less than a two-thirds majority of the Delegations present and
2. Any Contracting State may, within ninety days of the date of
notice of a recommendation to which paragraph (1) of this Article
applies, object to it and in that event shall not be under
obligation to give effect to the recommendation.
3. In the event of an objection being made within the ninety-day
period, any other Contracting State may similarly object at any
time within a further period of sixty days, or within thirty days
after receiving notice of an objection by another Contracting
State made within the further period of sixty days.
4. If objections to a recommendation are made by three or more of
the Contracting States, all the other Contracting States shall be
relieved forthwith of any obligation to give effect to that
recommendation but any or all of them may nevertheless agree among
themselves to give effect to it.
5. Any Contracting State which has objected to a recommendation
may at any time withdraw that objection and shall then, subject to
the provisions of paragraph (4) of this Article, give effect to
the recommendation within ninety days, or as from the date
determined by the Commission under Article 9 of this Convention,
whichever is the later.
6. The Commission shall notify each Contracting State immediately
upon receipt of each objection and withdrawal.
Any recommendation to which paragraph (1) of Article 8 of this
Convention applies shall, subject to the provisions of that
Article, become binding on the Contracting States from the date
determined by the Commission, which shall not be before the period
for objection provided in Article 8 has elapsed
At any time after two years from the date on which it has been
required to give effect to any recommendation to which paragraph
(1) of Article 8 of this Convention applies any Contracting State
may give the Commission notice of the termination of its
acceptance of the recommendation and, if that notice is not
withdrawn, the recommendation shall cease to be binding on that
Contracting State at the end of twelve months from the date of the
2. At any time after a recommendation has ceased to be binding on
a Contracting State under paragraph (1) of this Article, the
recommendation shall cease to be binding on any other State which
so desires upon the date of notice to the Commission of withdrawal
of acceptance of that recommendation by such other State.
3. The Commission shall notify all Contracting States of every
notice under this Article immediately upon the receipt thereof.
1. In order that the recommendations made by the Commission for
the conservation of the stocks of fish within the Convention area
shall be based so far as practicable upon the results of
scientific research and investigation, the Commission shall when
possible seek the advice of the International Council for the
Exploration of the Sea and the cooperation of the Council in
carrying out any necessary investigations and, for this purpose,
may make such joint arrangements as may be agreed with the
International Council for the Exploration of the Sea or may make
such other arrangements as it may think fit.
2. The Commission may seek to establish and maintain working
arrangements with any other International organization which has
1. The Contracting States undertake to furnish on the request of
the Commission any available statistical and biological
information the Commission may need for the purposes of this
2. The Commission may publish or otherwise disseminate reports of
its activities and such other information relating to the
fisheries in the Convention area or any part of that area as it
may deem appropriate.
1. Without prejudice to the sovereign rights of States in regard
to their territorial and internal waters, each Contracting State
shall take in its territories and in regard to its own nationals
and its own vessels appropriate measures to ensure the application
of the provisions of this Convention and of the recommendations of
the Commission which have become binding on that Contracting State
and the punishment of infractions of the said provisions and
2. Each Contracting State shall transmit annually to the
Commission a statement of the action taken by it for these
3. The Commission may by a two-thirds majority make
recommendations for, on the one hand, measures of national control
in the territories of the Contracting States and, on the other
hand, national and international measures of control on the high
seas, for the purpose of ensuring the application of the
Convention and the measures in force thereunder. Such
recommendations shall be subject to the provisions of Articles 8,
9 and 10.
The provisions of this Convention shall not apply to fishing
operations conducted solely for the purpose of scientific
investigation by vessels authorised by a Contracting State for
that purpose, or to fish taken in the course of such operations,
but in any of the territories of any Contracting State bound by a
recommenation to which paragraph (1) of Article 8 applies, fish so
taken shall not be sold or exposed or offered for sale in
contravention of any such recommendation.
1. This Convention shall be open for signature until 31 March
1959. It shall be ratified as soon as possible and the intruments
of ratification shall be deposited with the Government of the
2. This Convention shall enter into force upon the deposit of
instruments of ratification by all signatory States. If, however,
after the lapse of one year from 31 March 1959, all the signatory
States have not ratified this Convention, but not less than seven
of them have deposited intruments of ratification, these latter
States may agree among themselves by special protocol on the date
on which this Convention shall enter into force; and in that case
this Convention shall enter into force with respect to any State
that ratifies thereafter on the date of deposit of its instrument
3. Any State which has not signed this Convention may accede
thereto at any time after it has come into force in accordance
with paragraph (2) of this Article. Accession shall be effected by
means of a notice in writing addressed to the Government of the
United Kingdom and shall take effect on the date of its receipt.
Any State which accedes to this Convention shall simultaneously
undertake to give effect to those recommendations which are, at
the time of its accession, binding on all the other Contracting
States as well as to any other recommendations which are, at that
time, binding on one or more of the Contracting States and are not
specifically excluded by the acceding State in its notice of
4. The Government of the United Kingdom shall inform all signatory
and acceding States of all ratifications deposited and accessions
received and shall notify signatory States of the date and the
States in respect of which this Convention enters into force.
1. In respect of each State Party to this Convention, the
provisions of Articles 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 and Annexes I, II and III
of the Convention for the Regulation of the Meshes of Fishing Nets
and the Size Limits of Fish, signed at London, on 5 April 1946, as
amended by decisions made under paragraph (10) of Article 12 of
that Convention, shall remain in force but shall be deemed for the
purposes of the present Convention to be a recommendation made and
given effect without objection under this Convention as from the
date of its entry into force in respect of that State within the
area covered by the 1946 Convention; provided that in the period
of two years after the coming into force of this Convention, any
Contracting State may, on giving twelve months' written notice to
the Government of the United Kingdom, withdraw from the whole or
any part of the said recommendation. If a Contracting State has,
in accordance with the provisions of this Article, given notice of
its withdrawal from a part of the said recommendation, any other
Contracting State may, with effect from the same date, give notice
of its withdrawal from the same or any other part of the said
recommendation, or from the recommendation as a whole.
2. The provisions of the Convention for the Regulation of the
Meshes of Fishing Nets and the Size Limits of Fish signed at
London on 5 April 1949, shall, save as provided in paragraph (1)
of this Article, cease to apply to each Contracting State to this
Convention as from the date of the entry into force of this
Convention in respect of that State.
At any time after two years from the date on which this Convention
has come into force with respect to a Contracting State, that
State may denounce the Convention by means of a notice in writing
addressed to the Government of the United Kingdom. Any such
denunciation shall take effect twelve months after the date of its
receipt, and shall be notified to the Contracting States by the
Government of the United Kingdom.
In Witness Whereof the undersigned, being duly authorized
thereto, have signed this Convention.
Done in London this twenty-fourth day of January nineteen hundred
and fifty-nine in two copies, one in the English language, the
other in the French language. Both texts shall be deposited in the
archives of the Government of the United Kingdom and shall be
regarded as equally authentic.
The Government of the United Kingdom shall transmit certified
copies of both texts of this Convention in the two languages to
all the signatory and acceding States.
The regions provided for by Article 1 of this Convention shall be
Region 1 Ñ The part of the Convention area bounded on the south by
a line running from a point 59 deg north latitude 44 deg west
longitude due east to the meridian of 42 deg west longitude;
thence due south to the parallel of 48 deg north latitude; thence
due east to the meridian of 18 deg west longitude; thence due
north to the parallel of 60 deg north latitude; thence due east to
the meridian of 5 deg west longitude; thence due north to the
parallel of 60 deg 30 min north latitude; thence due east to the
meridian of 4 deg west longitude; thence due north to the parallel
of 62 deg north latitude; thence due east to the coast of Norway;
thence north and east along the coast of Norway and along the
coast of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics as far as the
Meridian of 51 deg east longitude.
Region 2 Ñ The part of the Convention area not covered by Region 1
and north of 48 deg north latitude.
Region 3 Ñ The part of the Convention area between 36 deg and 48
deg north latitude.