Regions and network

UNEPGEFUniversity of Kalmar
Subregion 25: Gulf of Alaska

  • Major intergovernmental agreements and actors
  • Action programmes, strategies, and research
  • State of the regional environment
  • GEF Projects in the region
  • Other actors and initiatives

    Major intergovernmental agreements and actors

    Convention for the Conservation of Anadromous Stocks in the North Pacific Ocean
    The Convention was signed in 1992 and entered into force in 1993. The objective is to promote the conservation of anadromous stocks in the Convention Area. Contracting Parties are Canada, Japan, the Russian Federation, and the United States. The Convention Area covers the waters of the North Pacific Ocean and its adjacent seas, north of 33 degrees North Latitude beyond 200-miles zones of the coastal States. Species covered by the Convention are Chum salmon, Coho salmon, Pink salmon, Sockeye salmon, Chinook salmon, Cherry salmon, and Steelhead trout. According to the Convention, directed fishing for anadromous fish in the Convention Area is prohibited. The North Pacific Anadromous Fish Commission (NPAFC) is the executive body of the Convention. The Parties to the Convention cooperate in the conduct of scientific research under the NPAFC Science Plan.

    Treaty Between Canada and the United States of America Concerning Pacific Salmon
    Adopted in 1985, amended 1985-1990. The objective of the Treaty is to prevent overfishing and provide for optimum production; and provide for each Party to receive benefits equivalent to the production of salmon originating in its waters.The Contracting Parties are to cooperate in management, research and enhancement. The Pacific Salmon Commission was established through the Treaty as its implementing body. The Commission does not regulate the salmon fisheries but provides regulatory advice and recommendations to the two countries. The fundamental role of the Commission is to conserve the Pacific Salmon in order to achieve optimum production; and to divide the harvests so that each country reaps the benefits of its investment in salmon management.The Commission gives both countries a forum through which to resolve their difficult salmon management problems. See also Treaty and Commission web sites of Canada (Treaty - Commission) and the United States (Treaty). See also Alaska Department of Fish and Game page on the treaty.

    North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation, NAAEC
    NAAEC is the environmental side agreement to NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement). The NAAEC was signed by Canada, Mexico and the United States and came into force January 1, 1994. The Agreement creates a framework to better conserve, protect and enhance the North American environment through cooperation and effective enforcement of environmental laws. The North American Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) is the executive body for the Agreement. The Commission addresses regional environmental concerns in North America, helps prevent potential trade and environmental conflicts, and promotes the effective enforcement of environmental law, all as part of its mandate under the Agreement. This is done through the following programs: Environment, Economy and Trade; Conservation of Biodiversity; Pollutants and Health; Law and Policy; and Other Initiatives. Marine issues are found under "Stewardship for Shared Terrestrial and Marine Ecosystems and Transboundary Species": Cooperation on the Protection of Marine and Coastal Ecosystems; Mapping Marine and Estuarine Ecosystems of North America [will commence in 2001]; North American Marine Protected Areas Network; and North American Biodiversity Conservation Mechanisms.

    North Pacific Marine Science Organization, PICES
    PICES is an intergovernmental scientific organization. It was established in 1992 and its present members are Canada, People's Republic of China, Japan, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, and the United States of America. The purposes of PICES are to promote and coordinate marine research in the northern North Pacific and adjacent seas especially northward of 30 degrees North; to advance scientific knowledge about the ocean environment, global weather and climate change, living resources and their ecosystems, and the impacts of human activities; and to promote the collection and rapid exchange of scientific information on these issues.

    International Pacific Halibut Commission, IPHC
    The International Pacific Halibut Commission, originally called the International Fisheries Commission, was established in 1923 by the governments of Canada and the United States of America. Its mandate is to study and preserve the stocks of Pacific halibut within the territorial waters of both nations.

    North Pacific Fishery Management Council, NPFMC
    The NPFMC is one of eight regional councils established by the Magnuson Fishery Conservation and Management Act in 1976 to oversee management of the nation's fisheries. With jurisdiction over the 900,000 square mile Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) off Alaska, the Council has primary responsibility for groundfish management in the Gulf of Alaska and Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands, including cod, pollock, flatfish, mackerel, sablefish, and rockfish species. The Council also makes allocative and limited entry decisions for halibut, though the IPHC. Other large Alaska fisheries such as salmon, crab and herring are managed primarily by the State of Alaska.


    Action programmes, strategies and research

    UNEP Regional Seas Programme
    The Regional Seas Programme was initiated in 1974 as a global programme implemented through regional components. The Regional Seas Programme is UNEP's main framework in the field of the coastal and marine environment. It includes 14 regions and three partner seas, involves more than 140 coastal states, and focuses on sustainable development of coastal and marine areas. Each regional action plan is formulated according to the needs and priorities of the region as perceived by the Governments concerned. Regional conventions are in place for several areas. See a map of all regional seas, and go to more information on the Black Sea, Wider Caribbean, Mediterranean, East Asian Seas, South Asian Seas, Eastern Africa, Kuwait Region, North West Pacific, Red Sea And Gulf of Aden, South East Pacific, North East Pacific, South Pacific, Upper South West Atlantic, and West and Central Africa. The UNEP Regional Seas web site also contains information on What's at stake, Major threats, and Actions.


    State of the regional environment

    GEO 2000 State of the Environment: North America

    Global Enviroment Outlook 2000. GEO is:

    • a global environmental assessment process, the GEO Process, that is cross-sectoral and participatory. It incorporates regional views and perceptions, and builds consensus on priority issues and actions through dialogue among policy-makers and scientists at regional and global levels.
    • GEO outputs, in printed and electronic formats, including the GEO Report series. This series makes periodic reviews of the state of the world's environment, and provides guidance for decision-making processes such as the formulation of environmental policies, action planning and resource allocation. Other outputs include technical reports, a web site and a publication for young people.

    GEF Projects in the region



    Other actors, initiatives and resources

    Bering and North Pacific Ocean Theme Page, NOOA
    An information resource for the scientific investigation of the biology, oceanography, meteorology and ecology of the Bering Sea and North Pacific Ocean. Here one finds, e.g., an Environmental Atlas for the Bering Sea and the North Pacific Ocean.

    Gulf of Alaska - a Large Marine Ecosystem (LME)
    A Large Marine Ecosystem, LME, is a "region of ocean space encompassing coastal areas from river basins and estuaries to the seaward boundary of continental shelves and the seaward margins of coastal current systems. It is a relatively large region characterized by distinct bathymetry, hydrography, productivity, and trophically dependent populations." See also Rhode Island University map of LMEs.


  • Global International Waters Assessment, GIWA
    SE- 391 82 Kalmar, Sweden
    Phone: +46- 480 44 60 00. Fax: +46- 480 44 73 55.

    page last modified on Tuesday, August 22, 2006