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.