Survey tracks aquaculture industry

By Stephanie Beard

Fisherman

All South Carolina fish farmers and aquaculture professionals should have received census forms from the National Agricultural Statistics Service in December. These forms collect information about the industry, including water area, production and sales, point-of-sale outlets, farm labor, and species distributed for restoration or conservation.

“It is very important that all farmers, no matter the size of their operation, report their production,” said Jack Whetstone, Clemson Extension aquaculture specialist who also works with the S.C. Sea Grant Extension Program and S.C. Department of Natural Resources. “It could have a dramatic effect on our farms and the future of the state’s aquaculture industry.”

Information from the census helps improve aquaculture policies and programs, aids business marketing strategies, and allows research institutes to develop new and improved methods of production. Census results will be posted at www.nass.usda.gov/ in fall 2006. 




For information: Jack Whetstone, 843-546-6321, jwhtstn@clemson.edu