CCAMLR Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources. Pronounced "kammelar." Scientific body set up in 1982 under the Antarctic Treaty to conserve Marine life in the Southern Ocean. Takes particular account of the links between species, such as birds, seals, and krill -- "the ecosystem approach." Enforcement leaves a lot to be desired.
CEFAS Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science, the UK government fisheries science agency.
CITES Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna. Intended to ensure trade in wild animals and plants does, not threaten their survival. Entered into force in 1975. List of protected species includes relatively few fish.
COLTO Coalition of Legal Toothfish Operators. Australia-based coalition that names and shames toothfish poachers in its Web-based Rogues Gallery.
Demersal fish Fish living and feeding on the bottom, such as cod, haddock, or hake. Sometimes also called groundfish.
DFO The Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans, inadvertent architects of the Grand Banks cod collapse.
EEZ Exclusive Economic Zone. The EEZ was a key provision of the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), allowing each coastal state exclusive rights over all resources, whether oil and gas, fish, gravel, or minerals within 200 nautical miles of its coast.
FAD Fish Aggregation Device. Fishermen noticed that tropical tuna congregated under logs, whales, and other large objects. Now they make their own: a FAD is a wooden frame with (optional) wisps of netting hanging from it. This is launched into the ocean currents attached to a radio or satellite beacon that can relay all sorts of information that indicates the likely presence of fish, including sea temperature, back to the fishing vessel.
FAO UN Food and Agriculture Organization. Pro-development UN organization that publishes reports on the state of world fisheries.
GPS Global Positioning System, satellite navigation system originally developed and funded by the US military, enabling users to compute position to within a few meters anywhere in the world.
IATTC Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission. Established in 1950. Regional fisheries organization for the eastern Pacific, based in La Jolla, California.
ICCAT International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Junas. Established in 1969 and based in Madrid. Known by conservationists as International Conspiracy to Capture All Tunas because of its indifferent success in conserving fish populations. Some successes in forcing pirate vessels off rogue states' registers and reducing swordfish catches in the North Atlantic.
ICES International Council for the Exploration of the Sea. Founded in 1902. The organization that promotes and coordinates marine research in the North Atlantic. More than one hundred years on, it still hasn't calculated the preindustrial spawning stock of the North Sea cod.
IOTC Indian Ocean Tuna Commission. Established in 1993. Regional fisheries body for tuna in the Indian Ocean, based in the Seychelles. (Nice work if you can get it.) Does stock assessments and compiles list of authorized fishing vessels but as yet does not apply any active conservation measures.
ITQ Individual Transferable Quota. Also known as Individual Fishing Quotas. Long-term tradable rights to fish which adherents claim have been highly successful in ending the "race to fish."
IUCN International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources. Global conservation science network, also called the World Conservation Union. Publishes Red List of the world's endangered species on the Web.
IUU Illegal, unregulated, and unreported. UN-speak for pirate fishing.
IWC International Whaling Commission. Club of whaling nations established in 1946 to manage whale stocks. If fisheries were run by its latest management rules -- developed since commercial whaling ended -- hardly a cod boat would put to sea.
MSC Marine Stewardship Council. International nonprofit organization, based in London, which promotes sustainable fisheries through certification. Has the most demanding criteria and widest range of participants involved in the assessment of fisheries of certification organizations.
MSY Maximum Sustainable (or Sustained) Yield. Optimum relationship between fish stock and fishing effort, the pursuit of which has almost always led to the stock being overfished.
NAFO Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization. Established in 1979 and based in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. Regional organization for waters beyond the continental shelf. There are sixteen members.
NEAFC North East Atlantic Fisheries Commission. Regional fisheries organization. Formally established in 1963 but dates back to between the wars. Based in London. Latest failure: blue whiting.
NOAA National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce and parent organization of the National Marine Fisheries Service.
OECD Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, an economic research body funded by the top thirty industrialized nations.
PCBs Polychlorinated biphenyls-highly persistent fire-retardant chemicals used as fluid in transformers and capacitors from the 1930S. Manufacture ceased in 1977 in the u.s. after the discovery that their toxic effects built up in the organs of marine creatures as a result of dumping at sea.
Pelagic fish Fish living in the upper waters of the open sea such as mackerel, sardine, or tuna.
UNCLOS UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. Called for in 1967, talked about in 1973, adopted in 1982, but still not ratified by United States.
Whitefish Fish with white flesh whose main reserves of fat are in the liver, such as cod, haddock, or whiting. As opposed to oily fish such as herring, sprat, mackerel, or shellfish.
WWF In America, this refers to the World Wildlife Fund. Everywhere else it is the organization formerly known as the World Wide Fund for Nature (now annoyingly just known by its initials).