Census of Aquaculture

Full Report:
Report Form and Instructions:
Aquaculture Frequently Asked Questions
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    What is the Census of Aquaculture?

    The Census of Aquaculture expands on the data collected about aquaculture collected from the Census of Agriculture and provides a comprehensive picture of the aquaculture sector at the state and national levels. The aquaculture Census collects detailed information relating to production volume and methods, surface water acres and sources, sales, point of first sale outlets, and aquaculture distributed for restoration, conservation, enhancement, or recreational purposes.

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    What is the definition of a farm for the 2018 Census of Aquaculture?

    For the 2018 Census of Aquaculture, an aquaculture farm is defined as any place from which $1,000 or more of aquaculture products were produced and sold or distributed for conservation, enhancement, or recreation during the Census year. Aquaculture is defined as the farming of aquatic organisms, including baitfish, crustaceans, food fish, mollusks, ornamental fish, sport or game fish and other aquaculture products. Farming involves some form of intervention in the rearing process, such as seeding, stocking, feeding or protection from predators. Farming also implies individual or corporate ownership of the stock being cultivated in a controlled environment at least part of the time.
    Farming also implies individual or corporate ownership of the stock being cultivated, in a controlled environment at least part of the time. Fish, crustaceans, mollusks, and other aquatic products which are caught or harvested by the public from non-controlled waters or beds are considered wild caught and are not included as aquaculture.

    What is not considered a farm for this questionnaire?

    Fish, crustaceans, mollusks, and other aquatic products which are caught or harvested by the public from non-controlled waters or beds are considered wild caught and are not included as aquaculture.

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    Why is the Census of Aquaculture important?

    Last conducted in 2013, the 2018 Census of Aquaculture provides current industry-specific data. This information is used by federal, state and local governments, agribusinesses, trade associations, and producers to make decisions impacting the sustainability and growth of the U.S. aquaculture industry.

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    Who uses Census of Aquaculture data?

    Census data are used by all those involved in the aquaculture sector:

    • Growers can use Census data to help make informed decisions about the future of their own operations, including whether or not to expand production, and to compare production volumes and pricing points with state and U.S. averages.
    • Aquaculture businesses and suppliers use the facts and figures to determine the locations of facilities that will serve producers and plan for the production and marketing of new products.
    • Legislators use Census numbers when shaping policies and programs, and evaluating and determining government funding and resources.
    • Extension and university representatives use the data to determine research needs and justify research funding and programs to develop new and improved methods of aquaculture production and profitability.
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    How will the 2018 Census of Aquaculture be conducted?

    The 2018 Census of Aquaculture will be the fourth national Census conducted by NASS to collect data on the aquaculture industry. The Census of Aquaculture will be mailed to all farms that reported any amount of aquaculture activity during the 2017 Census of Agriculture. The 2018 Census of Aquaculture will be mailed in December 2018. Producers can respond by mail, online, telephone, or personal enumeration.

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    Is response to the Census of Aquaculture mandatory?

    Yes. The Census of Aquaculture is part of the Census of Agriculture Program which is required by United States law (Title 7, U.S. Code). All those who received a Census report form are required to respond even if they did not operate a farm in 2018.

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    Is the information an individual provides kept confidential?

    Yes. Respondents are guaranteed by law (Title 7, U.S. Code, and CIPSEA, Public Law 107-347) that their individual information will be kept confidential. NASS publishes data only in tabulated totals. The report cannot be used for purposes of taxation, investigation or regulation. The privacy of individual Census records is also protected from disclosure through the Freedom of Information Act.

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    Where can I find Census of Aquaculture data?

    To access the 2013 Census of Aquaculture results and other agriculture Census data, visit www.nass.usda.gov, the Quick Stats database at quickstats.nass.usda.gov, or call the Agricultural Statistics Hotline at (800) 727-9540.

Last Modified: 12/12/2018