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Enforcement Activities

The Committee on Enforcement (ENFO) is the forum for coordinating and exchanging information among fisheries enforcement agencies of the member countries regarding compliance with the provisions of the NPAFC Convention.



An Enforcement Standardization Symposium was organized in Kodiak, Alaska, in 1999. The "List of Questions for Standardization of Enforcement Practices" was developed at the Symposium, assisting in planning and improving the effectiveness of high seas driftnet (HSDN)  patrols. The Enforcement Planning and Coordinating Meeting was held in Tokyo in 2000. During that meeting the organizational structure of the agencies primarily responsible for HSDN enforcement efforts was discussed and information on primary points of contact for HSDN cases was exchanged.

Several NPAFC enforcement events and activities were conducted in 2001, which contributed to improved enforcement cooperation and coordination: the Pre-Season Enforcement Planning Meeting held in Victoria, Canada; the ad hoc Patrol Coordination Group hosted by the US Coast Guard in Juneau, Alaska; and the Enforcement Evaluation and Coordination Meeting in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, Russia.

In 2001 the level of international cooperation was highlighted by the first ever enforcement patrol of the Convention Area by a US Coast Guard C-130 patrol aircraft staged out of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, Russia, with representatives from each of the Parties. In 2002 the Concept of Operations on the Joint Operations Information Coordination Group was adopted and the Enforcement Procedures Working Group was created to review the existing and other possible enforcement activities.

In 2003-2006 the Integrated Information System (IIS) was developed.  This web-based program was designed to share information and facilitate real time enforcement efforts throughout the year.  In 2006 the first ever joint enforcement plan was created.  A comprehensive plan resulting from the cooperative efforts of all the Parties (Canada, Japan, Korea, Russia, and United States) included patrol vessel and aircraft surveillance of the Convention Area throughout the high threat season.  An enforcement symposium, "Patrol tactics, planning and execution of enforcement in the NPAFC Convention Area", was also held in 2006. The purpose of the symposium was to bring together enforcement professionals from each country to share lessons learned and best practices from their respective agencies.

In 2007 the ENFO initiated a program of cooperation with the Technical Committee on Compliance (TCC) of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC; and the Fisheries Working Group (FWG) of the North Pacific Coast Guard Forum (NPCGF;

In 2008 the first ever International North Pacific IUU (illegal, unreported, unregulated) fishing workshop was held in Vancouver, Canada.  Participants included numerous groups involved with fisheries enforcement, including NPAFC ENFO, NPCGF FWG, WCPFC TCC, and the International Monitoring Control and Surveillance Network.  These organizations vary in membership and representation both by state and agency, and the convention provisions on monitoring control and surveillance, area, and species of interest.  What the agencies have in common is the strong mandate to protect the natural marine resources of the Pacific Ocean and to combat IUU fishing.

In 2008-2009 Canada employed a newly-launched earth surveillance satellite (Radarsat 2) as a means of monitoring vessel activity in the NPAFC Convention Area.  The space-based Automated Identification System (AIS) has also been employed as an additional tool for enhancing information on vessel contacts provided by Radarsat 2.

In 2010 the United States initiated a bi-weekly enforcement conference calls with participation of the enforcement agencies of the member countries on a voluntary basis. These calls are  an effective real-time communication tool for coordinating enforcement patrols and updating case information.

In 2012, Commission members also continued successful enforcement collaboration in the Convention Area. Patrol efforts included a combined 153 ship patrol days, over 370 aerial patrol hours, and the use of radar satellite surveillance.

The combined monitoring activities in 2013 by NPAFC-related enforcement agencies included over 120 ship patrol days, more than 498 aerial patrol hours, and satellite support. Members collaborated through joint ship patrols, participation of personnel in the air and ship patrols of other member countries, and regular conference calls.

The combined multilateral efforts by enforcement agencies of NPAFC member countries resulted in no observed high seas driftnet or IUU fishing activities in 2015. The coordinated enforcement efforts of the member countries in 2015 covered significant portions of the NPAFC Convention Area, including over 400 hours of aircraft patrols and exceeding 100 ship days. Over 500 fishing vessels were sighted and none were detected conducting illegal fishing activities. Inspection of several transhipment vessels did not indicate retention of salmon captured on the high seas. This confirms that a high level of coordination and patrol and inspection effort acts as a strong deterrent to IUU fishing.

Ongoing efforts to curtail the large-scale high seas driftnet threat by continuing a constant vigilance at sea and in port is crucial for sustainable fisheries management and the conservation of salmon in the North Pacific. Multilateral enforcement operations coordinated in the NPAFC arena, regular information exchanges between NPAFC-member enforcement agencies, and a consistent enforcement presence in the North Pacific all act as effective deterrents against IUU fishing activities.


Detected/Apprehended HSDN Vessels

In 1993-2015, the cooperative enforcement efforts of the NPAFC Parties resulted in the detection of 47 vessels conducting directed driftnet fishing operations for salmon in the Convention Area. Of those vessels, 20 were apprehended (see the table and detailed information). 
Year 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 Total
Detections 6 1 3 1 6 9 11 2 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 2 2 1 0 1 0 47
Apprehension 2 0 1 1 2 4 3 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 1 1 1 0 1 0 20

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