The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) is set to kick off the 2023 Census of Aquaculture on December 18, reaching out to producers involved in the production and sale of aquaculture products, as indicated in their 2022 Census of Agriculture responses. The survey, a specialized study under the agricultural census umbrella, is poised to gather comprehensive data at both state and national levels.
The Census of Aquaculture will delve into critical aspects of the industry, including production volume, methods employed, surface water acres and sources, and sales figures. Stakeholders ranging from federal and state governments to local authorities, agribusinesses, trade associations, and producers themselves rely on this data for informed decision-making.
NASS Administrator Hubert Hamer underscored the importance of participants' input, stating, “The information that respondents provide will serve as the foundation for many decisions involving the sustainability and growth of the U.S. aquaculture sector for years to come. This is an opportunity to share your voice and showcase the uniqueness of American aquaculture.”
To streamline the survey process, NASS has introduced an online Respondent Portal. Producers can conveniently complete NASS surveys, access historical reports, and explore additional resources through the portal.
Recognizing the time constraints faced by producers, Hamer expressed gratitude, saying, “We recognize that producers are incredibly busy, and we want to thank them in advance for taking their valuable time to participate.”
Participation in the 2023 Census of Aquaculture is mandated by law under Title 7 USC 2204(g) Public Law 105-113. The same legislation requires NASS to maintain confidentiality, utilizing the data for statistical purposes only and publishing it in aggregate form to protect the identity of individual producers or farm operations. The released data is scheduled to be made public on December 16, 2024.