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Why has U.S. aquaculture struggled economically?

U.S. finfish aquaculture has continued to struggle to keep pace with global aquaculture development. While well-established pond based aquaculture sectors have struggled to attract capital, emerging RAS have been successful in attracting capital but experience high failure rates. This project was designed to address the USDA Aquaculture Research program goal to improve the profitability of U.S. aquaculture, increase domestic opportunities, and support the development of rural job opportunities.

This project developed spreadsheet enterprise budgets for the most commonly used production systems, for the most important finfish species and scales of production. All prices, costs, and economic conditions use 2018 values. Enterprise budgets are available below, grouped by production species. Please note that files contain multiple tabs for different scales or production and methods.

The enterprise budgets presented here are intended only as a guide in terms of the types of revenue and expenses necessary for each species and production system modeled. Those who are seeking to understand either the startup or current costs must replace the values in the budget with realistic values for their particular business.

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Catfish 80-acre farm budgets.mht
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Catfish 310-acre farm budgets.mht
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Catfish 1480-acre farm budgets.mht
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Fathead minnow budgets.mht
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Golden shiner budgets.mht
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Goldfish budgets.mht
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Largemouth bass budgets.mht
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Salmon RAS budgets.mht
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Sportfish budgets.mht
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Tilapia RAS budgets.mht
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Trout raceway budgets.mht
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Trout RAS budgets.mht

This work was supported by the Aquaculture Special Research Grant Program from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture award no. 2016-70007-25757 / accession no. 1010733.

Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.