Structure of the Commission

IPHC Structure

Contracting Parties

The IPHC currently consists of six members, three appointed by each Contracting Party (the Governor General of Canada and the President of the United States of America), who serve their terms at the pleasure of the Contracting Party. In recent years, one Commissioner from each Contracting Party has been an employee of the federal fisheries agency, one a fisher, and one either a buyer or a processor involved in the fishery.

Subsidiary bodies

Pursuant to Rule 14.1, of the IPHC Rules of Procedure (2017) the Commission has established the following core Committees and Boards:

  • Conference Board (CB)
    The CB is a panel representing Canadian and American commercial and sport halibut fishers. Created in 1931 by the Commission, the Board gives the IPHC the fishers' perspective on Commission proposals presented at Annual Meetings in January. Members are designated by union and vessel owner organizations from both nations.
  • Management Strategy Advisory Board (MSAB)
    The MSAB is a panel formed of harvesters, fisheries managers, processors, Staff, Commissioners, science advisors, and academics created in 2013 to oversee and advise the Staff on the IPHC's Management Strategy Evaluation (MSE). MSE is an ongoing process to define fishery objectives, articulate and examine management procedures, and define performance measures in order to recommend fishery management measures for Commission consideration.
  • Processor Advisory Board (PAB)
    The PAB, as the name suggests, represents halibut processors. Like the Conference Board, PAG lends its opinion regarding Commission proposals and offers recommendations at IPHC Annual Meetings. The group was formed in 1996.The Processor Advisory Group (PAG), as the name suggests, represents halibut processors. Like the Conference Board, PAG lends its opinion regarding Commission proposals and offers recommendations at IPHC Annual Meetings. The group was formed in 1996.
  • Research Advisory Board (RAB)
    The RAB, which formed in 1999, consists of both fishers and processors who offer suggestions to the Director and staff on where Commission research should focus. RAB generally meets in November, prior to the IPHC Interim Meeting.
  • Scientific Review Board (SRB)
    The SRB, a small group of fisheries science experts, was also formed in 2013. The SRB provides an independent scientific review of Commission science products and programs, and supports and strengthens the stock assessment process.
  • Finance and Administration Committee (FAC)

The Commission, including its Subsidiary Bodies, are supported by an Executive Director and Secretariat staff.



To be developed.

Observers and the general public

The Commission and its subsidiary bodies are generally open to Observers and the general public unless the Commission specifically decides otherwise.

The Commission may, upon their request, invite the following Observers in their official capacity:

  1. Any State or any other entity that has jurisdiction over waters adjacent to the Convention Area;
  2. Other States with an interest in the work of the Commission that are not Contracting Parties of the Commission, invited by the Commission;
  3. Other regional fisheries management organisations and other relevant governmental or intergovernmental organisations, invited by the Commission;
  4. Non-governmental organisations having special competence in the field of activity of the Commission, to attend such of its meetings as the Commission may specify.

Any Observer to a meeting of the Commission, or of the general public, may submit memoranda as either Regulatory Proposals, Position Statements or Information Papers, no later than 30 days prior to the commencement of the session.

Observers and the general public may participate in the deliberations of the Commission and its subsidiary bodies during the Observer and public testimony periods, but shall not be entitled to participate in the taking of decisions.

The Commission may enter into agreements or arrangements with other inter-governmental organisations and institutions, especially those active in the fisheries sector, which might contribute to the work and further the objectives of the Commission. Such agreements or arrangements may provide that these organisations or institutions may be represented as Observers in the Sessions of the Commission.