Why Do Fish Need Drugs?
Aquatic Animal Drugs Partnership Program Supports Healthy Fisheries

What do we use aquatic animal drugs for? 

Safe and effective medications improve the health of aquatic animals. When fisheries professionals have more options for medications, they are better equipped to rear healthy fish, manage healthy aquatic populations, and maintain a healthy environment. 

We use aquatic animal drugs for a variety of important purposes in our hatcheries and fish technology centers. They keep fish and other aquatic animals healthy by treating diseases caused by parasites and bacteria, sedate animals so that they may be safely handled, and assist spawning animals that would otherwise not spawn in captivity. In fish science, the term “drug” is used to recognize more than just fish medication, it also includes disinfectants, pesticides, herbicides, and biologics.  

The Aquatic Animal Drug Approval Partnership program is part of the Fish and Aquatic Conservation fish health work. It is the only program in the United States singularly dedicated to obtaining U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval of new medications needed for use in fish culture and fisheries management. Since the late 1990’s, the Aquatic Animal Drug Approval Partnership program has contributed to the majority of every new fish medication approved by the FDA. Ultimately, the Aquatic Animal Drug Approval Partnership program allows fisheries professionals to more effectively and efficiently rear and manage a variety of fish species to meet production goals, stock healthy fish, and maintain a healthy environment. 

Aquatic Animal Drug Approval Partnership’s Programs 

Aquatic Animal Drug Approval Partnership staff work with federal agencies, tribes, state agencies, universities, and private partners to obtain FDA approval of new medications for use in fish culture and fisheries management. The Aquatic Animal Drug Approval Partnership’s programs work to 

  • oversee the National Investigational New Animal Drug Program. 

  • assist sponsors with approving new animal drugs. 

  • maintain an applied Research Program. 

The Aquatic Animal Drug Approval Partnership’s Outreach Program provides the U.S. aquaculture community with up-to-date information on the status, availability, and use guidance of aquatic animal drugs to ensure safe, effective, and legal drugs are used in aquaculture and fisheries management. 

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Aquatic animals