Latin names: Lates calcarifer
Common Names: Barra
Farmed - Australia
- QLD, NSW, VIC, NT, SA, WA
Barramundi is native to Australia, and is both caught in wild fisheries and farmed. Farmed barramundi is mainly produced on land in tanks and ponds, with minor volumes produced in the ocean in sea cages.
As an omnivorous species, barramundi are dependent on the fishmeal and fish oil in fish feed produced from wild caught fish. However, they can be farmed on a diet relatively low in fishmeal and oil, and feed manufacturers are continuing to produce feeds with lower quantities of wild caught fish. Farmed barramundi has a better wild fish in to farmed fish out ratio than farmed carnivorous finfish species such as Rainbow trout and Atlantic salmon. The amount of farmed barramundi produced is approximately equal to or less than the amount of fish caught from the wild for the feed to produce the farmed fish, depending on the farming operation. This means production dependence on wild fish resources is not exceeding the amount of barramundi produced.
Farming barramundi also a relatively low impact on the natural environment. Waste from land-based farms is adequately managed by the jurisdiction in which the farm is sited, and sea cage production, which is predominantly in QLD and WA, is still relatively small. Careful planning of where sea cages are located is essential to ensure minimal environmental impacts; currently, sea cages are mostly located in areas with a high tidal range so that tides quickly disperse waste from the farms.
Disease transfer from farmed to wild populations is not an issue in land-based production and minimal in sea cage operations.