Charter and Statutes

WCFS Statutes version 5.0

Version resulting from Executive Board Meeting on May 25, 2016, in Busan, South Korea

History of status and revisions:

Edition X – June 15, 2001 – A revised version of the WCFS statutes which were written after the 1996 2nd World Fisheries Congress in Brisbane, Australia, and discussed at the 3rd World Fisheries Congress in Beijing, China, in October-November 2000

Edition 3 – October 2005

Edition 4 – October 2008, approved at WFC Yokohama, Japan.  Included clarifications made regarding eligibility for hosting a World Fisheries Congress

 

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 developing 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 XII.5, XII.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: 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
    6. To participate in the governance of the Council as described in Article VI; and.
    7. To vote for President and Vice President(s) of the Council
  6. Rights of Affiliate Member organizations
    1. Affiliate Member organizations shall have the right:
      1. To receive news and publications of the Council; and
      2. To receive notification of and attend scientific meetings organized by or under the auspices of the Council.
      3. To submit proposals to host the World Fisheries Congress, with those proposals eligible for priority consideration by the Executive Board.

 

  1. 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 or co-Vice-Presidents; 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
    3. Selection of Congress Venue
      1. At least one year prior to each Congress meeting, the Secretary General shall release widely a call to host the next event.
      2. Proposal to host the Congress shall be submitted to the Secretary General by interested originations according to a timeline established by the Secretary General such that a final selection of host and location will be completed at least 6 months prior to the Congress prior to the one being established.
      3. Each organization submitting a proposal for hosting the Congress will be given an opportunity to present its proposal to the Executive Board of the Council -through means identified by the Secretary General in consultation with the President.
      4. Each member Organization of the Council shall be afforded one vote for Congress site selection
      5. In event of a tie the President will cast the deciding vote
      6. The Secretary General is nonvoting and will service to tally the secret ballot and announce the results.

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(s), and the Secretary-General (hereinafter called the Officers), and 2 members from each Member Organization of the Council. The President and Vice-President(s) 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. Members of the Executive Board may be represented by a designated substitute person if they are unable to attend a meeting.
    3. The President may invite observers to participate in the meetings.
    4. The Secretary-General is appointed by the President subject to the approval of the Executive Board.
    5. The period of office of Officers is from the end of the business meeting of the Congress during which they are elected (or appointed in the case of the Secretary-General) to end of the business meeting of the next Congress. The period of office for all other Executive Board members is from January 1st 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.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
    8. 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.
    9. The Executive Board may form committees.
  3. Election of Officers
    1. Each official member organization will be provided the opportunity to present a candidate for President and Vice-President, three months prior to the Quadrennial meeting of the World Council to the Secretary-General. Nominating societies will submit a statement for each candidate that provides a description of professional background and relevant comments on their vision for the position.  The statement shall not exceed 750 words.
    2. Names and statements of candidates for office will be provided to the Executive Board no less than 30 days prior to the business meeting held during the Quadrennial meeting of the World Council.
    3. Each official member organization will be afforded one vote for President and Vice-President via secret ballot handed out at the meeting. The current Vice-President will also be awarded a single vote via secret ballot handed out the meeting.
    4. In event of a tie for either office the President will cast the tie breaking vote.
    5. The Secretary – General is non-voting and will serve to tally the secret ballot and announce the results.

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(S)

  1. Function
    1. The Vice-President(S) 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. The Executive Board may select co Vice-Presidents as determined to be appropriate
  2. Terms of Office
    1. The Vice-President(S) is elected by the Executive Board. The Executive Board may allow for the election of Co-Vice-Presidents with duties to be determined by the President.
    2. The Vice-President(s) 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.
  2. The International Fisheries Science Prize (IFSP).
    1. The International Fisheries Science Prize is awarded by the WCFS at the quadrennial World Fisheries Congress to honor an individual for International excellence in Fisheries Science and/or management.
    2. The American Fisheries Society International Fisheries Section (IFS) will manage the IFSP award selection process for the WCFS such that the recipient is named at least three months prior to the WFC where the award will be presented
    3. Each official member of the Council will be given an opportunity to provide nominations for consideration for the award. IFS will provide criteria by which the award documents should be submitted.
    4. The review committee for the award will be chaired by IFS and membership to the review committee will proceed as outlined in IFS bylaws.
    5. Final award determination will made by a vote of the WCFS Executive Board following guidelines developed by IFS.
    6. Cost of the International Fisheries Science Prize (travel, the award, and related costs) will be included in the budget of the World Fisheries Congress at which the award is presented.

 

Article XI – Meetings of the Council

  1. At a minimum, the Council shall hold one official meeting in conjunction with the World Fisheries Congress every four years (henceforth referred to as the Quadrennial meeting).
  2. During the Quadrennial meeting the Executive Board should agree to the dates and locations for all other official Council meetings held during the Presidents tenure.
  3. An agenda for any official Council meetings should be provided to the members of the Executive Board and affiliate members for review and comment prior the meeting.
  4. During official meetings of the World Council, records of agreements and decisions should be recorded and disseminated to members of the Executive Council and other affiliate members.

 

Article XII: 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 1st 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.
    6. Member organizations that are unable to afford yearly dues make ask the Secretary-General to waive payments. The Secretary-General in collaboration with the President and Vice President will make a determination on whether the waiver is valid.  Generally, societies headquartered in the OECD’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) eligible countries will be granted dues waivers.
  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.