About the WFC

The Council is a nonprofit, nongovernmental membership organization open to scientific or professional fisheries societies and affiliated organizations. Other fisheries organizations may become affiliates of the Council by a vote of the Council’s Executive Board. The Council’s headquarters and Secretariat are presently located in Bethesda, Maryland, USA, at the AFS headquarters.

The main aim of the Council is to promote international cooperation in fisheries science, conservation and management. This includes encouraging sustainable management practices, encouraging excellence in fisheries research, and promoting the wise use of fishery resources.

Its functions are exercised:

  • By facilitating, throughout the world, exchanges of ideas among Member Organizations and among the individual members of these organizations.
  • By creating and maintaining contacts among Member Organizations and by encouraging the adoption of common practices and policies;
  • By promoting the dissemination and application of all information;
  • By cooperating with national and international scientific and technical fisheries organizations;
  • By encouraging the introduction of uniformity of nomenclature and standardization in matters such as information storage and retrieval;
  • By organizing meetings, particularly the World Fisheries Congress which will be the primary function of the Council;
  • By recognizing outstanding contributions of scientists and professionals through various awards and scholarships;
  • By development assistance for Member Organizations;
  • By performing other activities.

Statutes

Article I: Title, Location and Scope

  1. There is established an organization whose title is the World Council of Fisheries Societies. Its short title is WCFS. In these Statutes, the organization is called the Council.
  2. The Council is a non-profit, non-governmental membership organization open to scientific or professional fisheries societies as Member organizations. Other organizations may become Affiliate Member organizations of the Council. The Council’s headquarters and Secretariat may revolve among its members but are presently located in Bethesda, Maryland, USA, at the American Fisheries Society (AFS) headquarters, with the Executive Director of AFS acting as the Secretary-General of the Council.

Article II: Aims

  1. The main aim of the Council is to promote international cooperation in fisheries science, conservation and management. This includes encouraging sustainable management practices, encouraging excellence in fisheries research, and promoting the wise use of fishery resources.
  2. Its functions are exercised:
    1. By facilitating, throughout the world, exchanges of ideas among Member organizations and Affiliate Member organizations and among the individual members of these organizations;
    2. By creating and maintaining contacts among Member organizations and Affiliate Member organizations and by encouraging the adoption of common practices and policies;
    3. By promoting the dissemination and application of fisheries science information;
    4. By cooperating with national and international scientific and technical fisheries organizations;
    5. By encouraging the introduction of uniformity of nomenclature and standardization in matters such as information storage and retrieval;
    6. By organizing meetings, particularly the World Fisheries Congress, which will be a primary function of the Council;
    7. By recognizing outstanding contributions of scientists and professionals through various awards and scholarships;
    8. By development assistance for Member organizations; and
    9. By performing other activities as determined by the Executive Board.

Article III: Membership

  1. Member organizations
    1. Fisheries science and management societies, which apply for membership and are accepted by the Executive Board, shall be known as Member organizations.
  2. Affiliate Member organizations
    1. Other organizations which apply for Affiliate membership and are accepted by the Executive Board, shall be known as Affiliate Member organizations.
  3. Admission to membership
    1. All applications for admission for Member organizations or Affiliate Member organizations shall be evaluated and approved by a majority of the members of the Executive Board in a vote taken by email (see Article VI.19), or at a meeting of the Executive Board at which at least one-half of all Board members are present. In case of a split vote, the President’s vote determines the majority.
  4. Termination of membership
    1. Member organizations and Affiliate Member organizations may resign from the Council only at the end of a calendar year. Member organizations and Affiliate Member organizations shall advise the Council of resignation by registered letter not later than three months before the date at which the resignation shall take effect. Belated notification shall entail the resignation to take effect only at the end of the calendar year following the intended date of resignation. Member organizations and Affiliate Member organizations shall send this notification to the Secretary-General.
    2. The Executive Board may terminate membership of a Member organization or an Affiliate Member organization for non-payment of dues (see Article XI.5, XI.6) or for taking actions in opposition to the aims of the Council (see Article II) as judged by a majority of Executive Board members.
  5. Rights of Member organizations
    1. Member organizations shall have the right:
      1. To participate in the Steering Committee and Program Committee of the World Fisheries Congress;
      2. To submit program proposals to the World Fisheries Congress;
      3. To submit proposals to host the World Fisheries Congress, with those proposals eligible for priority consideration by the Executive Board;
      4. To receive news and publications of the Council;
      5. To participate in all scientific meetings organized by or under the auspices of the Council; and
      6. To participate in the governance of the Council as described in Article VI.
  6. Rights of Affiliate Member organizations
    1. Affiliate Member organizations shall have the right:
    2. To receive news and publications of the Council; and
    3. To receive notification of and attend scientific meetings organized by or under the auspices of the Council.
    4. To submit proposals to host the World Fisheries Congress, with those proposals eligible for priority consideration by the Executive Board.
  7. Duties of members
    1. It shall be the duty of each Member organization and Affiliate Member organization to promote the activities of the Council to the best of its ability, to observe the statutes and decisions of each organ, and to pay its dues where applicable.

Article IV: Organs and Structure

  1. The organs of the Council are:
    1. The World Fisheries Congress;
    2. The Executive Board;
    3. The President and the Vice-President; and
    4. Secretary-General

Article V: World Fisheries Congress

  1. Function
    1. The World Fisheries Congress (henceforth referred to as Congress) is the general assembly of the Member organizations of the Council and their individual members and other invited attendees, and is concerned with technical and scientific issues. In plenary session, it may pass resolutions or recommendations. At the closing session or at any other session of a Congress, the President or person designated by the President, informs the Congress of decisions of the Council regarding the functioning of the Council, resolutions, and of any other matter he/she believes should be brought to the attention of the participants.
  2. Procedure
    1. The Congress meets every four or five years. The President of the Council, or a designated person, presides in person over meetings of the Congress.
    2. Proposals to host the World Fisheries Congress may be submitted to the Executive Board by Member Organizations, Affiliate Member Organizations, or other groups. The Executive Board may give priority consideration to proposals submitted by Member Organizations or Affiliate Member Organizations.

Article VI: Executive Board

  1. Function
    1. The Executive Board is the executive organ of the Council and takes any necessary action to ensure the functioning of the Council.
    2. The Executive Board controls the revenues and expenditures of the Council.
    3. The Executive Board establishes agreements with other organizations.
    4. The Executive Board may waive part or all of the dues to applicants for membership, on a case by case basis and upon application for such waiver by an applicant organization.
    5. The Executive Board originates and establishes major policies relating to programs of the Council or to its administration.
    6. The Executive Board decides on conferring membership as an Affiliate Member organization on international organizations, corporations, and trade groups that are not eligible to be Member organizations, and on setting the appropriate membership dues for such organizations.
    7. The Executive Board decides the place and approximate date of the next Congress;
    8. The Executive Board makes recommendations to governments and national or international organizations on any business connected with the objectives of the Council.
    9. The Executive Board decides on changes in the statutes.
    10. The Executive Board terminates the Council.
  2. Composition
    1. The Executive Board is composed of the President, Vice-President, and the Secretary-General (hereinafter called the Officers), and 2 members from each Member Organization of the Council. The President and Vice-President may represent Member organizations in addition to the 2 members from each organization, or they may serve as an organizational representative while also serving as an officer. Each Member organization of WCFS is entitled to one vote.
    2. The President and the Vice-President are elected by the Council by a simple majority of those present.
    3. Members of the Executive Board may be represented by a designated substitute person if they are unable to attend a meeting.
    4. The President may invite observers to participate in the meetings.
    5. The Secretary-General is appointed by the President subject to the approval of the Executive Board.
    6. The period of office of Officers is from January 1st of the year following the Congress during which they are elected (or appointed in the case of the Secretary-General) to December 31 following the next Congress. The period of office for all other Executive Board members is from January 1 st until December 31st of the year of service. Executive Board members may serve multiple terms as appointed by their Member organizations, but no more than two consecutive terms.
    7. If during the period between meetings of the Council and Congress an Officer or a member of the Executive Board ceases, for any reason, to participate, the Executive Board has the power to appoint a substitute who will hold office until the next meeting of the Council.
    8. The Executive Board normally meets whenever a Congress is in session and whenever a need arises between Congresses, subject to prior approval of at least one-third of the Board members.
    9. Decisions require a simple majority of votes. Business of the Executive Board may be conducted at meetings; five Executive Board members, including at least two officers, constitute a quorum for the purposes of voting at meetings on decisions other than membership (see Article III.3.1). Business of the Executive Board and its votes may be conducted by electronic mail, in which case a quorum constitutes votes cast by at least one-half of the Board Member organizations.
    10. The Executive Board may form committees.

Article VII: President

  1. Function
    1. The President presides over the Congress and acts as the Chairperson of the Executive Board. When an equal number of votes are cast supporting and opposing a motion, the President casts the deciding vote.
    2. The President in consultation with the Secretary-General, controls the funds of the Council, subject to provisions of the Articles VII.2 and X.1-5.
    3. Between meetings of the Congress, the President makes any necessary decisions in consultation with the other Board Members as possible.
    4. The President is endowed with all other powers necessary to ensure the operation and representation of the Council.
    5. The President, or an Executive Board member designated by the President, represents the Council vis-a-vis official bodies or third parties.
  2. Terms of Office
    1. The President is elected by the Executive Board and may be re-elected for a second four-year term.
    2. If for any reason the President is unable to carry out his/her duties, the Executive Board appoints the Vice-President as acting President; if the Vice-President is unable to act, the Executive Board appoints an acting President from among its Members.
    3. Subject to the approval of the Executive Board, the President may delegate for a period not exceeding the duration of his/her current term of office specific responsibilities to the Vice-President.

Article VIII: Vice-President

  1. Function
    1. The Vice-President performs the functions assigned by the President and acts for the President in the latter’s absence and also acts as Vice Chairperson of the Executive Board.
  2. Terms of Office
    1. The Vice-President is elected by the Executive Board.
    2. The Vice-President is not eligible for reelection as Vice-President if the person has served a full term in the position.
    3. If for any reason the Vice-President is unable to carry out his/her duties or has to assume the Presidency under Article VIII.8 of the statutes, the Executive Board appoints an acting Vice-President from among its members.

Article IX: Secretary-General

  1. The Council’s financial affairs are administrated by a Secretary-General under the control of the President, and not necessarily located in the same place as the President.
  2. The Secretary-General shall deposit all moneys and other valuable effects in the name and to the credit of the Council and shall prepare the annual budget for the approval of the Executive Board.
  3. The Secretary-General shall have the custody of the Council’s funds and securities and shall keep full and accurate accounts of receipts and reimbursements.
  4. The accounts of the Council are prepared at the end of each calendar year. They are submitted by the Secretary-General to the Executive Board.
  5. The Secretary-General shall keep the official records of the Council.
  6. If for any reason the Secretary-General is unable to carry out his/her duties, the Executive Board shall appoint a new Secretary-General.
  7. The Secretary-General shall provide the necessary communications for the Council to keep members informed of events and deadlines.

Article X: Awards and Recognition

  1. The Council may recognize those individuals or organizations who contributed significantly to achieving its aims or to advancing fisheries research and management.

Article XI: Dues

  1. Dues
    1. Membership dues are payable annually and are due on January 1st of the year in question.
    2. Dues rates are decided by the Executive Board.
    3. The Council may also accept funds from other sources towards the aims mentioned under Article II.
    4. Delinquencies of membership fees are considered in Article III.3.1.
  2. Dues Structure for Member organizations
    1. The dues structure is to be determined by the Executive Board. A tiered structure may be adopted.
    2. The Executive Board may decide to forgo dues payment from any or all Member organizations at its discretion.
    3. As of January 1, 2006, each Member organization shall pay US$0.25 per year per active individual member of the organization (not including students or retirees), based on the organization’s membership as of December 1 st of the preceding year.
    4. The Executive Board may set a maximum cap on the dues amount that will be levied on any Member organization, if the organization’s membership exceeds a certain level.
    5. The Executive Board may set a minimum dues amount that will be levied on small organizations whose membership is below a certain level.
  3. Dues Structure for Affiliate Member organizations
    1. To be determined by the Executive Board.
    2. As of January 1, 2006, Affiliate Member organizations shall pay a set fee of $50 for attaining Affiliate Member Status.