Canada: 22nd October, 1991
United States of America: 6th December,
Japan: 24th January, 1992
People’s Republic of China: 31st
Russian Federation: 16th December 1994
Republic of Korea: 30th July, 1995
Entered into force: 24th March, 1992)
THE CONTRACTING PARTIES,
RECOGNIZING the need for improved scientific understanding
of the North Pacific Ocean and its processes, living resources, and oceanographic
AWARE that due to the vast expanse of the North Pacific
Ocean, scientific understanding of the area can be best achieved through
a spirit of international scientific cooperation on a mutually beneficial
DESIRING to establish an appropriate intergovernmental
organization to promote and facilitate such scientific cooperation and
avoid duplication of effort;
ACKNOWLEDGING that the activity of the organization
must be based on the principles and rules of the international law of
the sea applicable to marine scientific research,
HAVE AGREED as follows:
Establishment of the Organization
The Contracting Parties hereby establish an intergovernmental
organization entitled the North Pacific Marine Science
Organization (PICES), hereinafter referred to as the
The Area Concerned
The area which the activities of the Organization concern
shall be the temperate and sub-Arctic region of the
North Pacific Ocean and its adjacent seas, especially
northward from 30 degrees North Latitude, hereinafter
referred to as the "area concerned". Activities
of the Organization, for scientific reasons, may extend
farther southward in the North Pacific Ocean.
Purpose of the Organization
The purpose of the Organization shall be:
(a) to promote and coordinate marine scientific research
in order to advance scientific knowledge of the area
concerned and of its living resources, including but
not necessarily limited to research with respect to
the ocean environment and its interactions with land
and atmosphere, its role in and response to global
weather and climate change, its flora, fauna and ecosystems,
its uses and resources, and impacts upon it from human
(b) to promote the collection and exchange of information
and data related to marine scientific research in
the area concerned.
Structure of the Organization
The Organization shall consist of:
(a) a Governing Council (the "Council");
(b) such permanent or ad hoc scientific groups and
committees as the Council may establish from time
to time; and
(c) a Secretariat.
Functions of the Governing Council
1. The scientific functions of the Council shall be,
(a) to identify research priorities and problems
pertaining to the area concerned, as well as appropriate
methods for their solution;
(b) to recommend coordinated research programs and
related activities pertaining to the area concerned,
which shall be undertaken through the national efforts
of the participating Contracting Parties;
(c) to promote and facilitate the exchange of scientific
data, information, and personnel;
(d) to consider requests to develop scientific advice
pertaining to the area concerned;
(e) to organize scientific symposia and other scientific
(f) to foster the discussion of problems of mutual
2. The administrative functions of the Council shall
be, inter alia:
(a) to adopt and, if necessary, to amend the Rules
of Procedure and Financial Regulations of the Organization;
(b) to consider and recommend amendments to the Convention;
(c) to adopt the annual report of the Organization;
(d) to examine and adopt the annual budget and final
accounts of the Organization;
(e) to determine the location of the Secretariat;
(f) to appoint the Executive Secretary;
(g) to maintain contact with other relevant international
(h) to manage the activities of the Organization.
3. The Council shall take such other decisions as may
be necessary or desirable to enable the organization
to carry out its activities efficiently and effectively.
Composition and Procedures of the Governing Council
1. Each Contracting Party shall be a member of the
Council and shall appoint to the Council not more
than two delegates, who may be accompanied as appropriate
by alternates, experts and advisers.
2. The Council shall elect a Chairman and a Vice-Chairman,
taking due account of the principle of rotation among
Contracting Parties. The Chairman and Vice-Chairman
shall be representatives of different Contracting
Parties. During his term the Chairman shall cease
to be part of his national delegation.
3. The Chairman of the Council shall convene a regular
annual meeting of the Organization. The annual meetings
shall ordinarily be held at the seat of the Organization,
unless otherwise decided by the Council.
4. Any meeting of the Council, other than the annual
meeting, shall be called by the Chairman at such time
and place as the Chairman may determine, upon the
request of the Council.
5. The Council may invite other states, organizations,
and experts to attend scientific meetings of the Organization,
or to participate in activities of the Organization
on such terms as the Council may establish.
Decision Making in the Governing Council
1. Each Contracting Party shall have one vote in the
proceedings of the Council.
2. The Council shall make every effort to take decisions
on the basis of consensus. For the purpose of this Convention,
consensus means the absence of a formal objection.
3. If all efforts at consensus have been exhausted,
and no agreement has been reached, decisions of the
Council may be adopted by a three-quarters majority
vote of the Contracting Parties present and voting.
4. Notwithstanding paragraph 3, consensus shall be required
for the following:
(a) the establishment of permanent or ad hoc scientific
groups and committees;
(b) the appointment of an Executive Secretary;
(c) the adoption of the annual budget of the Organization;
(d) recommendations for amendment of this Convention;
(e) the holding of any meeting of the Council other
than the annual meeting; and
(f) other matters of substance that the Council may
The Council shall appoint an Executive Secretary on
such terms and with such duties as it may determine.
The staff of the Secretariat shall be appointed by the
Executive Secretary in accordance with such rules, procedures,
and requirements as may be determined by the Council.
1. The Council shall adopt an annual budget for the
2. Each Contracting Party shall contribute to the annual
budget. Contributions shall be paid in the currency
of the state in which the Secretariat is located in
accordance with the respective laws and regulations
of each Contracting Party.
3. The Council shall consider at its annual meeting
the failure of any Contracting Party to discharge its
financial obligations under this Convention. A Contracting
Party that fails to pay its contributions for two consecutive
years shall not, during the period of its default, have
the right to participate in the taking of decisions
in the Council unless the Council decides otherwise.
Working and Official Language
The working and official language of the Council shall
Privileges and Immunities
1. The Organization shall enjoy such legal personality
and capacity as may be agreed between the Organization
and the Contracting Party in whose territory the Secretariat
2. The Organization, its officers and employees, together
with delegates to the Council, shall enjoy such privileges
and immunities, necessary for the fulfillment of their
functions, as may be agreed between the Organization
and the Contracting Party in whose territory the Secretariat
No Prejudice to Existing Rights
1. Nothing in this Convention, nor activities of the
Organization taking place pursuant to it, shall prejudice
or in any way affect:
(a) the sovereignty, sovereign rights and jurisdiction
of a Contracting Party under international law over
its territorial sea, 200 nautical mile zone, or continental
shelf, including its jurisdiction over marine scientific
(b) the rights of a Contracting Party to manage its
national research programs;
(c) other international agreements, bilateral or multilateral,
to which Contracting Parties are party.
2. Nothing in this Convention shall be construed as
authorizing the Organization to regulate the activities
of the Contracting Parties.
Signature and Ratification, Acceptance or Approval
1. The Convention shall be open for signature at Ottawa,
Canada, from March 1, 1991 until December 31, 1991 by
Canada, the People's Republic of China, Japan, the Union
of Soviet Socialist Republics and the United States
2. The Convention shall be subject to ratification,
acceptance or approval by the signatory states in accordance
with their domestic laws and procedures. Instruments
of ratification, acceptance or approval shall be deposited
with the Government of Canada, which shall act as the
Entry into Force and Accession
1. The Convention shall enter into force sixty days
after the date on which three of the signatory states
have deposited instruments of ratification, acceptance
or approval with the Depository.
2. After the Convention has entered into force, it
shall be open for accession by any non-signatory state.
States desiring to accede to the Convention may so notify
the Depository which shall notify the Contracting Parties.
In the absence of a written objection by a Contracting
Party within 90 days of receipt of such notification,
a state may accede by deposit of an instrument of accession
with the Depository and accession shall take effect
sixty days following deposit.
Any Contracting Party or the Council may propose amendments
to this Convention. The text of a proposed amendment
shall be transmitted to all Contracting Parties by the
Depository at least 90 days prior to the meeting at
which the amendment is proposed to be considered. Amendments
shall enter into force sixty days after the deposit
of instruments of ratification, acceptance or approval
by all of the Contracting Parties in accordance with
their domestic laws and procedures.
A Contracting Party may withdraw from this Convention
at any time by giving written notice of withdrawal to
the Depository. The withdrawal shall be effective six
months after receipt of the notice of withdrawal by
1. This Convention shall be terminated upon the withdrawal
of three of the signatory states listed in Article XIII.
2. The effective date of termination shall be one year
after the deposit with the Depository of the number
of withdrawals required to terminate the Convention
in accordance with paragraph 1 above.
Authentic Texts and Certified Copies
The original of the present Convention in the English
and French languages, each version being equally authentic,
shall be deposited with the Depository, which shall
transmit certified copies thereof to all of the signatory
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the undersigned, duly authorized
by their respective Governments, have signed this Convention.
DONE in duplicate, at Ottawa, this 12th day of December,
1990, in the English and French languages, each version
being equally authentic.