Aquatic Veterinary Medicine Committee - Entity Description


The AqVMC is charged with advocating and promoting the role of the veterinarian in aquatic animal health on local, national, and international issues. The AqVMC shall:

  1. Advance and support the role of the veterinarian in aquatic veterinary medicine at the production, practice, educational, research, natural resource management and regulatory levels for the benefit of aquatic animals and public health.
  2. Develop strategies to promote, enhance and integrate the use of veterinarians' expertise to benefit the aquaculture, aquarium, ornamental fish and seafood industries, and the commercial and recreational fishing and natural resource management, and the seafood consuming, and pet owning public.
  3. Review current and proposed legislation and regulatory actions and make recommendations for actions to best protect aquatic animals and public health.
  4. Identify current programs to educate and train veterinarians in aquatic veterinary medicine and make recommendations to meet future needs and goals.
  5. Promote education and training of paraprofessionals in aquatic animal health and care.
  6. Promote the availability and appropriate use of diagnostic assays, medications and biologics in the prevention and treatment of aquatic animal disease.
  7. Identify areas in need of veterinary expertise in seafood safety and quality assurance, biosecurity, public health, and environmental health.
  8. Identify and recommend actions to address emerging aquatic veterinary issues.

Membership, Method of Appointment, and Representation

Membership is made up of veterinarians, and one non-veterinarian with interests in aquatic animal medicine from the following categories: academia (veterinary school teaching, research, clinical or extension faculty); diagnostic services (academic, private or government diagnostic laboratory); corporate or laboratory aquatic veterinary medicine; public health/epidemiology; aquaculture food animal production (private or public practice); companion (ornamental) aquatic animals (private clinical practice); state or federal regulatory veterinary medicine; aquatic invertebrate health (mollusk, crustacean, corals, etc.); aquatic animal conservation medicine (wildlife, zoo, aquarium, marine mammals); and a non-veterinarian with expertise to enhance aquatic veterinary medicine and fulfilling the objectives of the AqVMC. With the exception of the chair, appointments are made for a term of three years, on a staggered basis, with a maximum of 2 terms for any member's initial appointment. A partial term greater than 1 year is considered one term.

Invited Representatives

Representatives from the following organizations are invited to attend Committee meetings as observers at the organization’s expense and provide the organization’s perspective on aquatic veterinary issues: American Association of Fish Veterinarians (AAFV), Alliance for Marine Mammal Parks and Aquaria (AMMPA); American Fisheries Society, Fish Health Section (AFS-FHS); Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA); Department of Commerce, National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA-NMFS); Department of Interior, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (DOI-USFWS); DOI, U.S. Geological Survey (DOI-USGS); Food and Drug Administration-Center for Veterinary Medicine (FDA-CVM); FDA, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (FDA-CFSAN); National Aquaculture Association (NAA); USDA, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Veterinary Services (APHIS-VS); USDA-APHIS, Center for Veterinary Biologics (APHIS-CVB); and the World Aquatic Veterinary Medical Association (WAVMA).


The committee members annually appoint the Chair.

AqVMC Issue Management Subcommittee

A three-member subcommittee, comprising the AqVMC Chair and two Committee members who are veterinarians selected by the Committee as a whole, is charged to act on behalf of the full AqVMC on time-sensitive issues between meetings.


The Committee reports to the Board of Directors.


Meetings are held twice a year in Schaumburg.


The AVMA will reimburse Committee members for authorized expenses.

Life Expectancy

The Committee will be reviewed in compliance with AVMA governance policies.