The Australian farmed barramundi industry started in the mid 1980’s. It is now farmed throughout Australia (except Tasmania) by about 100 licensed farmers, producing around 3,500 tonnes of Barramundi every year. There is every indication that the industry will continue to expand, with growth coming from existing farms and new entrants to the industry.
The name “Barramundi” is likely to have been of Aboriginal origin, and is thought to mean “fish with big scales.”
Being a tropical species Barramundi require water temperatures of 20-30oC, although commercial growth rates require temperature above 25oC. They can tolerate a wide range of salinities and can be grown in sea, brackish or freshwater. This allows farmers to cultivate barramundi in sea cages, recirculating systems or ponds. Seasonal variations in temperature cause growth rates of outdoor fish to decrease rapidly over the winter months.
Plate-sized barramundi (400-800g) can be produced in the first year, but require a second growout season to reach weight so 2-3 kg, the preferred market size.