Wildlife Services (WS) provides the Federal leadership and expertise to resolve wildlife conflicts that threaten the Nation’s agricultural resources. WS has a presence in every State where its wildlife biologists and technicians work to protect agricultural crops and aquaculture from damage caused by wild animals.
Aquaculture is an important industry in the United States; however, wildlife depredation, especially by fish-eating birds, is significantly impacting production. In 2003, the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) surveyed producers from 13 States dominating the catfish industry. Nearly 70% of catfish producers reported some losses to wildlife. In 2006, WS research confirmed that catfish producers lost $10-13 million annually to double-crested cormorants in Mississippi alone.
In FY 2008, WS provided wildlife damage management assistance to aquaculture producers in 14 States. This included assistance to anglers, baitfish and crawfish producers, catfish farmers, fish hatcheries, sport fish producers for pond stocking, and tropical fish producers.