Contact: Debbie Norton (202) 690-8124
Michael Green (202) 690-8802
2005 Census of Aquaculture is Ready to Count
WASHINGTON, Nov. 15, 2005 - The United States Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) is gearing up to count aquaculture species produced in the United States through the 2005 Census of Aquaculture. The census will also collect detailed data relating to water area, production and sales, point of first sales outlets, farm labor and aquaculture distributed for restoration or conservation purposes.
Census of Aquaculture report forms will be mailed to producers Dec. 15. Recipients are asked to complete and return their report forms within two weeks of receipt, providing data for the 2005 calendar year.
"Only aquaculture producers themselves can supply the answers needed to produce a useful and accurate picture of our nation's aquaculture at the national and state levels," said NASS Administrator R. Ronald Bosecker. "The information that results from the census benefits producers, and the entire aquaculture industry, in many ways."
For instance, Census of Aquaculture data are used by:
- producer organizations to evaluate and propose aquaculture policies and programs;
- businesses to develop marketing strategies and determine facility locations;
- public and private analysts to make projections and forecasts regarding the industry;
- colleges and universities to develop new and improved methods to increase aquaculture production;
- state departments of agriculture for aquaculture promotion and research activities;
- federal government policymakers to draft legislation to help resolve aquacultural issues; and
- state and local governments to plan rural development, aquaculture research and extension programs.
"Many of the questions will be similar to those asked in the last aquaculture census, conducted in 1998. In addition, some new questions have been added to capture information such as farm employment data for aquaculture operations" Bosecker explained.
Information provided by producers is strictly confidential by law (Title 7, U.S. Code). No data on any individual operation will be disclosed. Statistical results will be summarized and made available in printed and electronic form. Title 7 also states that response to the 2005 Census of Aquaculture is mandatory. Those who receive a census form are required to return it whether or not they had an active aquaculture operation in 2005.
For the purpose of the Census of Aquaculture, an aquaculture farm is defined as any commercial or noncommercial place from which $1,000 or more of aquacultural products were raised and sold, or raised for restoration, conservation or recreational purposes during the census year.
Final results from the census will be published by NASS in the fall of 2006 in a report entitled 2005 Census of Aquaculture . It will be available on the NASS Web site at www.nass.usda.gov.