The Commission is the highest decision-making body of the Organisation. Each Contracting Party is a member of the Commission and is entitled to be represented by one representative to the Commission and may be accompanied by alternate representatives and advisors. The Commission meetings are open to observers consistent with Rules of Procedureof the Commission.
Decisions of the Commission on all matters of substance are by consensus. Whether a matter is one of substance is treated as a matter of substance. Decisions on other matters are by simple majority of the Parties present (Article 17). There is a limited procedure for notification of non-acceptance of the decision, as a last resort (Article 24). SEAFO has adopted dispute settlement procedures. (Dispute Settlement Procedures). The Commission embraces cooperation with other regional fisheries management organisations to strengthen global high seas fishery governance in general and to sharing of information, such as IUU fishing activities. SEAFO is represented at annual meetings of CCAMLR, ICCAT,NAFO, NAMMCO and NEAFC as an observer, and there is close working relationship with other agencies, including FAO.
One of the challenges facing the Commission includes IUU fishing whose nature and extent in the Convention area is not known. The SYSTEM OF OBSERVATION, INSPECTION, COMPLIANCE AND ENFORCEMENT was adopted by the Commission in 2013 on Port State inspection procedures of all fishing vessels is a first step in addressing the issue. Another challenge is to gather baseline information on fisheries and oceanography of the region and also to improve data collection and reporting. Mandatory scientific observers of onboard of all fishing vessels are collecting data and vessels has to report the positions every two hours.
Commission is urging States and fishing entities with “real interest” in the fisheries of the region to become Party to Convention or to fully comply with conservation and management measures adopted.