Four U.S. Commissioners and four alternates are appointed by the Government of the United States. Four Canadian Commissioners and four alternates are appointed by the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans.
The Chair and Vice-Chair responsibilities alternate between the two countries each year.
Each country has one vote in the Commission. The agreement of both is required for any recommendation or decision by the Commission.
The decisions of the Commissioners are aided by the efforts of the Panels and Committees.