The Governor General of Canada and the President of the United States of America each appoint three commissioners who serve without remuneration. In recent years, one commissioner from each country has been an employee of the federal fisheries agency, one a fisher, and one either a buyer or a processor. The chairmanship of the Commission alternates annually between countries.
The commissioners appoint the Director who supervises the scientific staff, which collects and analyzes statistical and biological data needed to manage the halibut fishery. The commissioners annually review the regulatory proposals made by the scientific staff and consider proposals from the industry, the Conference Board, and the Processors Advisory Group. The regulatory measures adopted by the Commission are submitted to the two governments for approval and fishers of both nations are required to observe the approved regulations.