Census of Aquaculture

The Census of Aquaculture provides detailed, comprehensive production and economic data on the aquaculture industry. It expands the scope of data relating to the industry beyond the annual catfish and trout programs.

The Census of Aquaculture is a follow-on survey of the census of agriculture. The target population is all farms in the 50 states engaged in aquaculture production. Most of these are identified from the preceding census of agriculture. The list is supplemented with additional operations believed to be producing aquaculture from other list sources, including NASS catfish and trout lists. State and federal hatcheries that distributed fish for restoration and conservation purposes are also added to the list.


The Census of Aquaculture publication is released at the end of the year the data are collected. It is part of a series of publications from the census of agriculture and three follow on studies. It is labeled Volume 3, Special Studies Part 2. Data are provided for all items by state and the U.S. Some items must be suppressed to protect the confidentiality of individual operations.

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Program Content

The Census of Aquaculture covers aquaculture practices, operation size, production, sales, sources of water, marketing channels, and aquaculture for restoration and conservation purposes.



As the only source of detailed production, sales and economic data, the census of aquaculture provides important statistics to government, academia, the industry, and others regarding the size and structure of the industry for planning, policymaking, research, and market analysis.



The Census of Aquaculture was first conducted in 1998. It is planned to be conducted three years after each 5-year census of agriculture.



The reference period is the calendar year preceding the survey period. Data are collected by mail out/mail back. The forms are mailed in December of the reference year. A telephone follow up of operations not responding by mail is attempted to maximize response. In some special cases, personal visits are made. Sample weights of the reporting operations are adjusted to account for unit nonresponse.


Related Programs

Census of Agriculture
Catfish Production
Catfish Processing
Trout Production



Last Modified: 05/04/2018