By-Laws of the Fish Health Section of the American Fisheries Society
ARTICLE 1. Name
The name of this organization shall be FISH HEALTH SECTION of the American Fisheries Society (AFS), hereinafter referred to as the Section and Society respectively.
ARTICLE 2. Objectives
The general objectives of the Fish Health Section shall be those of the American Fisheries Society described in ARTICLE 1 of the Constitution with the following specific objectives set forth for the Fish Health Section:
- To maintain an association of persons involved in safeguarding the health of aquatic animals.
- To focus attention on aquatic animal health problems by making appropriate news items, results of completed research, and other educational information available to the public.
- To stimulate the application of effective aquatic animal health practices by communicating with those entities interested in developing sound aquatic animal health programs. These objectives shall be pursued by:
- Making information and technical materials available on aquatic animal health topics, including maintenance of a regularly updated Section website, electronic communication of Section news and publication of a technical journal.
- Submitting to the officers of the parent Society an annual report on the status of the Section and recommendations for Society action as appropriate.
- Promoting development and use of standardized, reliable techniques for detection, diagnosis, and management of certain diseases of aquatic animals.
- Developing and maintaining professional standards, certification procedures, and a peer review system to ensure professional competence and ethical practices.
ARTICLE 3. Membership
Membership in the Fish Health Section shall be composed of Society members in good standing who pay Section dues. All officers and committee members must be members of the Section. Each Section member is entitled to one vote on all matters requiring the approval of the membership. Affiliate membership in the Section shall be available to non-Society members who are members of other scientific societies and associations with an interest in aquatic animal health. Affiliate membership will convey all benefits and rights of full membership except those prohibited by the Society. Only Active Members of the Society may vote, hold office, or serve on a committee in the Section.
ARTICLE 4. Officers
The officers of the Section shall be a President, a President-Elect, a Vice-President, and a Secretary-Treasurer and the Immediate Past President.
- All officers shall be elected by mail or electronic ballot as provided below for terms extending from the Section’s annual business meeting following the election until the Section’s annual business meeting of the following year and shall serve without salary or other compensation from the Society or Section unless specifically authorized by a mail ballot of the Section membership.
- Except for the office of Secretary-Treasurer, no member shall hold the same office for more than one consecutive term; the incumbent for the office of Secretary-Treasurer may serve two consecutive terms.
- Terms of office shall be as follows:
- President: one year
- President-Elect: one year
- Vice-president: one year
- Secretary-Treasurer: three years per term
- Immediate Past President: one-year term
- Candidates for office, except the immediate Past President, shall be nominated by the Nominating and Balloting Committee.
- In the event of a vacated position, the Executive Committee shall appoint a qualified replacement to complete the unexpired term.
ARTICLE 5. Duties of Officers
- President: The President shall serve as Chair of the Executive Committee and shall preside at meetings of the Section, appoint all committees, and serve as ex officio member thereof except as limited herein. The President or the President’s designated alternate shall represent the Fish Health Section to the Society. The President shall make such appointments and perform such other duties as are authorized and necessary to meet the objectives of the Section.
- President-Elect: The President-Elect shall perform the duties of the President in the absence of the President. The President-Elect shall serve as the Rules Officer of the Section to (1) assure Section compliance with these Bylaws, (2) coordinate the adoption of any changes to the Bylaws, and (3) maintain liaison with the Constitutional Consultant of the Society. The President-Elect shall accede to and shall be installed as President of the Section at the annual meeting of the Society or at a meeting of the Section if these meetings are suitably scheduled to accommodate installation ceremonies.
- Vice President: The Vice-President shall accede to and be installed as President-Elect of the Section at the annual meeting of the Society or at a meeting of the Section if these meetings are suitably scheduled to accommodate installation ceremonies. The Vice-President shall recommend for approval of the Executive Committee the time and place and the Chair of the Program Committee for the annual meeting to be held three years hence.
- Secretary-Treasurer: The Secretary-Treasurer shall safeguard and control the operating funds of the Section, prepare an annual financial report for the membership, and maintain financial records in standard accounting format for review by Society officers and staff as needed or required. The Secretary-Treasurer shall prepare an itemized budget for Executive Committee approval that will foster financial solvency of the Section and designate the allocation of Section funds.
- Past-President: The immediate Past-President shall serve on the Executive Committee, serve on the Nominating and Balloting Committee, and assist other officers as needed.
- Other specific duties of the officers shall be listed in the Section’s Procedural Manual.
ARTICLE 6. Executive Committee
- The Executive Committee shall consist of the officers of the Fish Health Section, the Technical Standards Committee Chair, the Professional Standards Committee Chair, and the immediate Past President as voting members. The Chairs of other committees, the editors of the Journal, and the editors of the newsletter shall be ex officio or non-voting members and shall be invited to Executive Committee meetings to present committee reports and participate in discussion of Section business.
- The Executive Committee shall have authority to determine policy and conduct business consistent with objectives of the Section. The Executive Committee may authorize the disbursement of Section funds for specific clerical tasks and other operational expenses. No real property or capital equipment may be purchased with Section funds without the approval of the membership.
- The Executive Committee shall maintain an awareness of serious aquatic animal health problems, significant advances in aquatic animal disease control, and shall prepare appropriate resolutions for parent Society action. The Executive Committee is responsible for aiding the President in preparation of the Section’s annual report of the Society.
- Meetings of the Executive Committee may be held whenever the President, or the President-Elect, as his designated alternate, and a majority of the voting members of the committee can assemble to conduct Section business. Business and voting of the Executive Committee may be conducted by mail or electronically.
- A quorum is required for transaction of official business at an Executive Committee meeting. A quorum for an Executive Committee meeting shall consist of four of the seven voting members. Executive Committee members can appoint a proxy.
- Each member of the Executive Committee shall have one vote on Executive Committee decisions. In the event of a tie, the President’s vote shall be the deciding vote.
ARTICLE 7. Standing Committees
- Nominating and Balloting Committee: The Nominating and Balloting Committee shall consist of the immediate Past President and three members elected by the membership by mail or electronic ballot. Elected members shall serve a 3-year term and one new member shall be elected to the committee each year. The Chair shall be the senior elected member of the committee. In the event that the senior person is unable or unwilling to serve, the President shall name the next in line as Chair. The Nominating and Balloting Committee shall nominate a slate of at least two candidates for the office of Vice-President and Secretary-Treasurer. Nominations of Section members in good standing may be submitted before the date announced to the membership by the Committee Chair in the newsletter or other electronic communication. The nominees to be considered must consent to be considered by the Nominating and Balloting Committee. In addition, the slate of candidates for the Professional Standards Committee, the Technical Standards Committee, the Nominating and Balloting Committee and the Policy/Position Development Committee will be identified. The committee is responsible for timely preparation, distribution, and tabulation of all mail ballots circulated to the membership and for prompt reporting of results to the President. In the event of tie votes, the Executive Committee shall be polled and a winner determined by their vote.
- Testing Standards Committee: The Testing Standards Committee shall consist of up to six members elected by the section. Members are expected to have documented knowledge and expertise regarding the development and/or validation of test procedures for pathogen identification. Members shall serve 3-year terms and two new members shall be elected to the committee each year. The Chair is identified by a simple majority vote of the committee members. The committee shall foster and promote the use of standard, reliable, and sensitive technical procedures for pathogen surveillance and diagnosis of aquatic animal diseases. It shall be the responsibility of the Committee to compile and distribute the Laboratory Testing Procedures section of the Fish Health Section’s Blue Book, “Procedures for the Detection and Identification of Certain Fin Fish and Shellfish Pathogens”. The duties of the Committee shall include technical and editorial responsibilities related to additions or revisions to the aforementioned section including guidance for the development of tests intended for diagnostic vs. screening purposes.
- Professional Standards Committee: The Professional Standards Committee shall consist of three members elected by the Section. Members shall serve a 3-year term and one new member shall be elected to the committee each year. The Chair shall be the senior member of the Committee. The committee shall be responsible for developing and maintaining a system for recognizing professional competence in the aquatic animal health field. The committee shall execute the professional certification programs of the Section including consideration of any alleged unethical conduct by a certified individual according to the Section’s Procedures Manual and coordinating the establishment of continuing education requirements in cooperation with the Continuing Education Committee. All members of the Committee must be either a Certified Fish Health Inspector, a Certified Fish Pathologist, or a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. No Section member who has had his or her Professional Certification revoked for cause may serve on the committee. Board vacancies shall be filled by appointment of a qualified replacement by the Executive Committee, and the appointee shall complete the term of the Board member he or she replaces. Changes in the qualification requirements for Certified Inspectors and Fish Pathologists shall be approved by a 2/3 majority vote of the Section members in a mail or electronic ballot.
- Continuing Education Committee: The Continuing Education Committee shall consist of a chair and four members appointed by the President for up to two two-year terms. The committee shall, in coordination with the Professional Standards Committee, establish and implement a program of continuing education for the Section.
- Awards Committee: The Awards Committee shall consist of a Chair and two members selected by the President for three-year staggered terms. The senior member shall be the Chair. The most recent recipient of the S.F. Snieszko Distinguished Service Award may be appointed to a 3-year term if they are an active member of the FHS and AFS. The Awards Committee shall be responsible for soliciting and gathering nominations for the S.F. Snieszko Distinguished Service (DS) Award, the Special Achievement Award, and the Student Travel Awards. The Chair of the Awards Committee shall solicit nominations for the Awards from the Section membership by providing the Newsletter Editor an announcement by December 1st, describing the purpose of the awards and where nominations should be sent. The Awards Committee shall screen nominations from the membership and forward qualified candidates for consideration and selection based on procedures and criteria specified in the current Section Procedural Manual.
- Archives Committee: The Archives Committee shall consist of a Chair and two members selected by the President. Appointed members will serve up to two 3-year terms. The Archives Committee shall maintain permanent records of all activities and actions of the Section, including the constitution and bylaws elections, rosters of officers, membership, meetings sites, awards, publications, photographs, affiliations, and such other business that has historical significance subject to the approval of the Executive Committee. This committee shall also establish a permanent site for the repository of materials, arrange for housing the archives, and maintain an up-to-date listing of archived material for the Executive Committee and the membership.
- Policy/Position Development Committee: This committee provides a mechanism for generating official policy/position statements by the FHS and consists of the FHS President-elect, FHS vice-President and three elected members. Elected members serve a 3-year term and one new member is elected to the committee each year. The Chair of the committee will be the FHS President-elect.
- Inspection Standards Committee: The Inspection Standards Committee shall consist of at most 6 members representing the Section (1, current FHS President or designee; administrative chair of the committee; non-voting except if the chair opts to break a tie vote), aquatic epidemiology or statistics and modeling (2), veterinarian with aquatic disease specialization (1), Certified AFS FHS Fish Pathologist (1), and Certified AFS FHS Aquatic Animal Health Inspector (1). Considering that stakeholders will have specific input and perspectives helpful to properly execute committee duties, a stakeholder advisory panel will be available to this committee. The stakeholder advisory panel composition will be determined as outlined in the procedural manual. All stakeholder panelists shall be non-voting advisors to the Committee and need not be present for all committee activities.
Nominations for committee members and advisory panelists will be solicited and nominees will stand for election by FHS members in good standing. Nominees for federal agency representatives to the advisory panel will be solicited directly from the respective agencies; nominees for state agency representatives will be solicited directly from the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. Agencies, indigenous groups, or industry groups can appoint/nominate individuals outside of their stakeholder groups to serve as their designated representatives to the advisory panel (e.g., if desired, the aquaculture industry could nominate an academic to serve as their constituency’s representative). Committee members and advisory panelists shall serve 3-year terms, and reelection shall be allowed, but no committee member or advisory panel member shall serve more than two consecutive terms (i.e., after serving for two consecutive terms, a member must rotate off the committee or advisory panel for a 3-year term before they may serve again). The Committee will be considered empaneled when at least one individual representing each of the subject matter areas has been seated. This number of representatives (current FHS President or designee , aquatic epidemiology/veterinary medicine , aquatic disease specialization/pathology , aquatic animal health inspection , and statistics/modeling ; totaling 5) will also be considered the quorum for conducting Committee business; Committee members are allowed to appoint proxies when they are unable to attend Committee meetings.
The Committee shall foster and promote the use of scientifically justifiable approaches for conducting inspections of aquatic animals. It shall be the responsibility of the Committee to compile and distribute all section(s) of the Fish Health Section’s Blue Book, “Procedures for the Detection and Identification of Certain Fin Fish and Shellfish Pathogens”, except the Laboratory Testing Procedures section and the QA/QA Model for Fish Health Labs section. The duties of the Committee shall include technical and editorial responsibilities related to format, review, and the determination of needs for appropriate additions or revisions to the Blue Book including organization and intended use of the Blue Book, guidance for determining the timing of sampling, sample sizes, sample pooling recommendations, and other Blue Book content other than the Laboratory Testing Procedures section and the QA/QA Model for Fish Health Labs section.
ARTICLE 8. Meetings and Voting
The Section shall convene at least one Section meeting annually, which shall include a general business meeting. Business meeting format is as described in the Section Procedural Manual.
Special meetings may be called by the President with approval of the Executive Committee.
A quorum is required for transaction of official business and shall be 15 Section members.
Business and voting may be conducted via mail or electronic media if approved by the Executive Committee.
Unless otherwise specified in these Bylaws or the Constitution of the Society, business shall be conducted according to the latest edition of Robert’s Rules of Order.
Decisions at meetings are by simple majority of Active Members voting, except 2/3 majorities are required in special cases such as amending the Bylaws and suspending a Rule. Other less frequently used voting requirements are described in Robert’s Rules of Order.
ARTICLE 9. Dues and Fees
Changes in the Section’s fee structure must be approved by majority vote of the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee shall establish annual dues subject to approval of the members voting at the annual meeting.
ARTICLE 10. Amendments to the Bylaws, Rules and Procedures
- The Bylaws are the defining document for the Section and take precedence over all other rules and procedures of the Section. The Bylaws cannot be suspended and cannot be changed without prior notice to members.
- Amendments to these Bylaws may be brought to a vote of the membership by a petition signed by not less than ten percent of the members in good standing or after majority vote approval by the Executive Committee
- The Executive Committee shall prepare and process a mail or electronic ballot regarding proposed Bylaws changes to circulate the proposed amendment(s) in writing. The membership at large must be given thirty days in which to return Bylaws ballots.
- Amendments shall be adopted when a two-thirds (2/3) majority of members voting vote favorably on a proposal.
- In accordance with the Society Constitution, all amendments shall be reviewed by the Society’s Constitutional Consultant for conformity with the Constitution, Rules and Procedures of the Society. The Constitutional Consultant presents the adopted amendment to the Society Management Committee for approval.
- Amendments shall not become effective until the Section receives written notice of their approval from the Executive Director of the Society.
- Rules are the next highest level of documentation of Section operations. They are generally established to facilitate the conduct of Section business, and to describe duties and responsibilities of officers and committees. They may be suspended or amended as follows.
- The Rules may be suspended during an Executive Committee meeting until the next annual or special Section meeting by a 2/3 majority of the Executive Committee
- The Rules may be suspended for the duration of a meeting by a 2/3 majority of Active Members voting at an annual or special Section meeting.
- The Rules may be amended by a simple majority of Active Members voting at an annual or special Section meeting.
- Procedures are the lowest level of documentation of Section operations. They are generally established to provide continuity in the conduct of Section business. The Procedures may be suspended or amended by a simple majority vote of the Executive Committee
Updated September, 2023