Northeast Fish Health Committee

The Northeast Fish Health Committee (NEFHC) is charged with coordinating fish health management activities amongst Northeast Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (NEAFWA) member states. The NEAFWA states include the following jurisdictions: Connecticut, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New York, Maine, Maryland, New Hampshire, West Virginia, Virginia, District of Columbia, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Vermont, Massachusetts and federal agencies with natural resource mandates, including National Marine Fisheries Service, and United States Fish and Wildlife Service. The committee serves under the auspices of the NEAFWA Northeast Fisheries Administrators Association. Coordination efforts are primarily through reviewing current issues and providing recommendations. A main focus has been the development of the Northeast Fish Health Guidelines.

The committee’s main goals are:

  • To assess current issues related to fish health and disease,
  • To encourage information exchange amongst fishery professionals on the importance of fish health, and
  • To recommend relevant, attainable, and practical approaches to fish health management.

The committee is comprised of fishery professionals from member states and appropriate federal agencies. Leadership is provided by a chair or co-chairs who serve on an ad hoc basis. The committee functions under a spirit of consensus and conducts business via dedicated working groups, conference calls, and an annual meeting in conjunction with the Northeast Fish Culture Chiefs Committee. Over the last several years, the committee has produced guidelines on the interstate importation of fish, an educational module on fish heath management, and symposia at NEAFWA annual meetings. Efforts will continue in these three main areas.