Consultancy to undertake a legal analysis of the ‘Convention Between Canada and the United States of America for the Preservation of the Halibut Fishery of the Northern Pacific Ocean and Bering Sea’ pdf

The International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) is an intergovernmental organization established by a Convention between Canada and the United States of America. The IPHC Convention was concluded in 1923 and entered into force that same year. The Convention has been revised several times since, to extend the Commission's authority and meet new conditions in the fishery (Bell 1969). The most recent change occurred in 1979 and involved an amendment to the 1953 Halibut Convention. The amendment, termed a "protocol", was precipitated in 1976 by Canada and the United States of America extending their jurisdiction over fisheries resources to 200 miles. The 1979 Protocol along with the U.S. legislation that gave effect to the Protocol (Northern Pacific Halibut Act of 1982) has affected the way the fishery is conducted, and redefined the role of IPHC in the management of the fishery during the 1980s. (Note: Canada did not require specific enabling legislation to implement the protocol.)

The IPHC is mandated to undertake research on, and management of, the stocks of Pacific halibut (Hippoglossus stenolepis) within the Convention waters. The IPHC consists of three government-appointed Commissioners for each Contracting Party, who serve their terms at the pleasure of the President of the United States of America and the Canadian government respectively. The Commission employs a Secretariat staff to assist in carrying out its duties.

In the United States of America, the IPHC is considered a “public international organization” and is entitled to particular privileges, exemptions, and immunities conferred by the International Organizations Immunities Act (22 U.S.C. Sec. 288), by virtue of U.S. Presidential Executive Order 11059. In 1987, the IPHC was granted 503(c) status as a not-for-profit organization, and it is considered part of the U.S. Federal government for purchasing and travel. Read More

Aims and Objectives

The legal review will evaluate the IPHC Convention between Canada and the United States of America for the Preservation of the Halibut Fishery of the Northern Pacific Ocean and Bering Sea, from an international fisheries legal framework point of view. Specifically, the desktop legal analysis shall document deficiencies in the IPHC Convention in terms of international best practice and principles, as well as the protocols the IPHC follows in implementing its Convention. This legal review will be incorporated into the 2nd Performance Review process being undertaken for the IPHC.


This project includes two (2) deliverables:

  1. Draft report. Deadline: 25 August 2017.
  2. Final report. The final report will present detailed findings that meet the project objectives. Supporting rationale must accompany the recommendations for modernizing the IPHC Convention and associated protocols. Deadline: 11 September 2017.

IPHC-2017-PRIPHC02: Specifications for Expressions of Interest