The Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (AFWA) is a professional association that serves as the collective voice of North America's state, provincial, and territorial fish and wildlife agencies. The Association represents North America’s fish and wildlife agencies to advance sound, science-based management and conservation of fish and wildlife and their habitats in the public interest. The Association also represents its state agency members on Capitol Hill and before the Administration on key conservation and management policies, and works to ensure that all fish and wildlife entities work collaboratively on the most important issues.
The AFWA includes a number of key committees that focus attention on specific components of natural resource management. Relative to the areas of aquatic animal health and aquatic animal drug approvals, the Fisheries and Water Resources Policy Committee (FWRPC) is the most influential committee. The FWRPC maintains several standing and ad hoc subcommittees or working groups, one of which is the Drug Approval Working Group (DAWG).
The overall objective of the DAWG is to provide a national-scope forum and mechanism for the oversight and coordination of collaborative research, field tests, data collection, data analysis, and data submittals to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for approval of priority drugs for use in public and private aquaculture in the United States. The DAWG is comprised of members from state resource agencies (representing each major geographic region of the U.S.), as well as from USFWS, NOAA, and USGS. The DAWG is chaired by a state representative, meets twice annually, and reports directly to the FWRPC. The current DAWG Chair is Steve Sharon, Wyoming Game and Fish Department.