Maybe I'm the governance expert.
We have, let me say, a mature assortment of institutions in the Great Lakes basin to deal with governance, and you're looking at one of them, the Great Lakes Fishery Commission, which operates under a treaty. We have the International Joint Commission, which operates under a treaty. We have other institutions that operate under various types of agreements, like the Great Lakes Commission, which is an interstate compact. Part of the U.S. Constitution allows for the formation of state alliances in a formal way. There is a compact, for example, that governs the allocation of water and diversion of water in the Great Lakes basin, which the provinces have also agreed to.
We do have an assortment of institutions to deal with the varying problems in the basin. It's a double-edged sword. On the one hand, we have a wealth of expertise to deal with the issues that exist out there. On the other hand—and let's use invasive species as an example, because this is the subject of the hearing today—if there is nobody specifically in charge of something, or if everybody is in charge of something and interested in it, you're in the same place: nobody is really accountable for it.
That's why these cross-linkages need to occur in the Great Lakes basin. We're in charge of lamprey. It's right in the treaty. The buck stops with us. We're accountable for it, and the control program works. You can come and ask us questions on how we're doing. You can't ask the same question for any of the other invasive species in the Great Lakes basin, even though there is a wealth of institutional arrangements that exist.
Speaking specifically about the Great Lakes Fishery Commission and our relationship with other institutions, we do not have a formal relationship with the International Joint Commission, our sister treaty organization, but we do have a longstanding informal relationship with that commission, because it's absolutely essential that our two commissions work together. We have differing missions, but we have the same vision for the Great Lakes. Our commissioners meet with the International Joint Commission commissioners from time to time. The staff interact on a regular basis, and we try to work together to articulate what our shared goals are.
With the fishery institutions of the Great Lakes basin, the Great Lakes Fishery Commission does not have direct management authority or even the ability to compel any jurisdiction, whether it's Ontario or any of the eight Great Lakes states or the U.S. tribes, to do anything with respect to their fisheries. Because of the fact that the political authority is diffuse in the Great Lakes basin, that means that the institutional partnership part of our vision is vital. If we want something to happen with fisheries, it has to be done on a consensus basis under a non-binding agreement. And as Mr. Lambe said, the instances when the states and the province have not been able to reach agreement—in this case he was referring to the allocation of walleye and yellow perch in Lake Erie—are extremely rare. We try to maintain a process whereby these decisions can be made, while at the same time respecting the sovereignty of the provinces and the states and the tribes to manage their fisheries.