Not to be confused with the Barramundi Cod or the Australian members of the genus Scleropages
Sceleropages is a genus of freshwater fishes found in Asia and Australia. Six species are currently recognized. All are carnivorous and have great jumping ability. Most are endangered in the wild to some degree. Scleropages species are highly valued as aquarium fish, particularly by those from...

(which sometimes are referred to as Barramundis).

The Barramundi (Lates calcarifer), also known as Asian Seabass, is a species
In biology, a species is one of the basic units of biological classification and a taxonomic rank. A species is often defined as a group of organisms capable of interbreeding and producing fertile offspring. While in many cases this definition is adequate, more precise or differing measures are...

 of catadromous
Fish migration
Many types of fish migrate on a regular basis, on time scales ranging from daily to annually or longer, and over distances ranging from a few metres to thousands of kilometres...

Fish are a paraphyletic group of organisms that consist of all gill-bearing aquatic vertebrate animals that lack limbs with digits. Included in this definition are the living hagfish, lampreys, and cartilaginous and bony fish, as well as various extinct related groups...

 in family
Family (biology)
In biological classification, family is* a taxonomic rank. Other well-known ranks are life, domain, kingdom, phylum, class, order, genus, and species, with family fitting between order and genus. As for the other well-known ranks, there is the option of an immediately lower rank, indicated by the...

The Latidae are a family of perch-like fishes found in Africa and the Indian and Pacific Oceans. The family, previously classified subfamily Latinae in family Centropomidae, was raised to family status in 2004 after a cladistic analysis showed the original Centropomidae was paraphyletic.Many...

 of order
Order (biology)
In scientific classification used in biology, the order is# a taxonomic rank used in the classification of organisms. Other well-known ranks are life, domain, kingdom, phylum, class, family, genus, and species, with order fitting in between class and family...

The Perciformes, also called the Percomorphi or Acanthopteri, is one of the largest orders of vertebrates, containing about 40% of all bony fish. Perciformes means perch-like. They belong to the class of ray-finned fish and comprise over 7,000 species found in almost all aquatic environments...

. The native species is widely distributed in the Indo-West Pacific
Indo-West Pacific
The Indo-West Pacific, or IWP, is a zoogeographical region spanning the entire Indian Ocean including the Red Sea and the Pacific Ocean as far as the Caroline Islands but short of the Marshall Islands...

 region from the Persian Gulf
Persian Gulf
The Persian Gulf, in Southwest Asia, is an extension of the Indian Ocean located between Iran and the Arabian Peninsula.The Persian Gulf was the focus of the 1980–1988 Iran-Iraq War, in which each side attacked the other's oil tankers...

, through Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia, South-East Asia, South East Asia or Southeastern Asia is a subregion of Asia, consisting of the countries that are geographically south of China, east of India, west of New Guinea and north of Australia. The region lies on the intersection of geological plates, with heavy seismic...

 to Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea , officially the Independent State of Papua New Guinea, is a country in Oceania, occupying the eastern half of the island of New Guinea and numerous offshore islands...

 and Northern Australia. Known in Thai language
Thai language
Thai , also known as Central Thai and Siamese, is the national and official language of Thailand and the native language of the Thai people, Thailand's dominant ethnic group. Thai is a member of the Tai group of the Tai–Kadai language family. Historical linguists have been unable to definitively...

 as Pla Krapong , it is very popular in Thai cuisine. It is known as Koduva in the Tamil language
Tamil language
Tamil is a Dravidian language spoken predominantly by Tamil people of the Indian subcontinent. It has official status in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu and in the Indian union territory of Pondicherry. Tamil is also an official language of Sri Lanka and Singapore...

, pandugappa in the Telugu language
Telugu language
Telugu is a Central Dravidian language primarily spoken in the state of Andhra Pradesh, India, where it is an official language. It is also spoken in the neighbouring states of Chattisgarh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Orissa and Tamil Nadu...

 in India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 and bhetki in Bengali language
Bengali language
Bengali or Bangla is an eastern Indo-Aryan language. It is native to the region of eastern South Asia known as Bengal, which comprises present day Bangladesh, the Indian state of West Bengal, and parts of the Indian states of Tripura and Assam. It is written with the Bengali script...

 and in Eastern India.

Origin of name

Barramundi is a loanword from an Australian Aboriginal language of the Rockhampton
Rockhampton, Queensland
Rockhampton is a city and local government area in Queensland, Australia. The city lies on the Fitzroy River, approximately from the river mouth, and some north of the state capital, Brisbane....

 area in Queensland
Queensland is a state of Australia, occupying the north-eastern section of the mainland continent. It is bordered by the Northern Territory, South Australia and New South Wales to the west, south-west and south respectively. To the east, Queensland is bordered by the Coral Sea and Pacific Ocean...

 meaning "large-scaled river fish". Originally, the name barramundi referred to saratoga
Saratoga (fish)
The saratoga, Scleropages leichardti, also known as the spotted bonytongue, spotted saratoga, or southern saratoga, is a freshwater bony fish native to Australia. It belongs to the subfamily Osteoglossinae, or arowanas, a primitive group of teleosts. Like all arowanas, it is a carnivorous...

 and Gulf saratoga
Gulf saratoga
The gulf saratoga, Scleropages jardinii, is a freshwater bony fish native to Australia and New Guinea, one of two species of fishes sometimes known as Australian arowanas, the other being the saratoga...


However, the name was appropriated for marketing reasons during the 1980s, a decision which has aided in raising the profile of this fish significantly. L. calcarifer is broadly referred to as Asian seabass by the international scientific community, but is also known as giant perch, giant seaperch, Australian seabass, and by a variety of names in other languages, such as Ikan Siakap or Ikan Kakap Putih in Indonesian
Indonesian language
Indonesian is the official language of Indonesia. Indonesian is a normative form of the Riau Islands dialect of Malay, an Austronesian language which has been used as a lingua franca in the Indonesian archipelago for centuries....

, Apahap in Tagalog (Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

), and Pla Krapong in Thailand
Thailand , officially the Kingdom of Thailand , formerly known as Siam , is a country located at the centre of the Indochina peninsula and Southeast Asia. It is bordered to the north by Burma and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, and to the...



This species has an elongate body form with a large, slightly oblique mouth and an upper jaw extending behind the eye. the lower edge of the preoperculum is serrated with a strong spine at its angle; the operculum
Operculum (fish)
The operculum of a bony fish is the hard bony flap covering and protecting the gills. In most fish, the rear edge of the operculum roughly marks the division between the head and the body....

 has a small spine and a serrated flap above the origin of the lateral line. Its scales are ctenoid.
In cross section, the fish is compressed and the dorsal head profile clearly concave. The single dorsal
Dorsal fin
A dorsal fin is a fin located on the backs of various unrelated marine and freshwater vertebrates, including most fishes, marine mammals , and the ichthyosaurs...

 and ventral fins have spines and soft rays; the paired pectoral and pelvic fins have soft rays only; and the caudal fin has soft rays and is truncate and rounded.
Barramundi are a salt and freshwater sportfish, targeted by many. They have large silver scales, which may become darker or lighter, depending on their environment. Their bodies can reach up to 1.8 meters (5.91 feet) long, though evidence of them being caught at this size is scarce.

Barramundi are demersal inhabiting coastal waters, estuaries, lagoons and rivers; they are found in clear to turbid water, usually within a temperature range of 26-30oC. This species does not undertake extensive migrations within or between river systems, which has presumably influenced establishment of genetically distinct stocks in Northern Australia.

Barramundi are mainly a summertime fish, but can be caught all year round, and may be found frolicking in mud. They are usually targeted using both hard and soft bodied lures.


The barramundi feeds on crustacean
Crustaceans form a very large group of arthropods, usually treated as a subphylum, which includes such familiar animals as crabs, lobsters, crayfish, shrimp, krill and barnacles. The 50,000 described species range in size from Stygotantulus stocki at , to the Japanese spider crab with a leg span...

s, molluscs
The Mollusca , common name molluscs or mollusksSpelled mollusks in the USA, see reasons given in Rosenberg's ; for the spelling mollusc see the reasons given by , is a large phylum of invertebrate animals. There are around 85,000 recognized extant species of molluscs. Mollusca is the largest...

, and smaller fish(including its own species); juveniles feed on zooplankton
Plankton are any drifting organisms that inhabit the pelagic zone of oceans, seas, or bodies of fresh water. That is, plankton are defined by their ecological niche rather than phylogenetic or taxonomic classification...

Barramundi are euryhaline
Euryhaline organisms are able to adapt to a wide range of salinities. An example of a euryhaline fish is the molly which can live in fresh, brackish, or salt water. The European shore crab is an example of a euryhaline invertebrate that can live in salt and brackish water...

, but stenothermal
Stenothermic Adj. refers to a type of stenotherm; a species or living organism only capable of living or surviving within a narrow temperature range. See also Ecotope. Cf. Eurytherm....

. It inhabits rivers and descends to estuaries
An estuary is a partly enclosed coastal body of water with one or more rivers or streams flowing into it, and with a free connection to the open sea....

 and tidal flats
Mudflats or mud flats, also known as tidal flats, are coastal wetlands that form when mud is deposited by tides or rivers. They are found in sheltered areas such as bays, bayous, lagoons, and estuaries. Mudflats may be viewed geologically as exposed layers of bay mud, resulting from deposition of...

 to spawn. In areas remote from freshwater purely marine
An ocean is a major body of saline water, and a principal component of the hydrosphere. Approximately 71% of the Earth's surface is covered by ocean, a continuous body of water that is customarily divided into several principal oceans and smaller seas.More than half of this area is over 3,000...

 populations may become established.

At the start of the monsoon
Monsoon is traditionally defined as a seasonal reversing wind accompanied by corresponding changes in precipitation, but is now used to describe seasonal changes in atmospheric circulation and precipitation associated with the asymmetric heating of land and sea...

, males migrate downriver to meet females, which lay very large numbers of eggs (multiple millions each). The adults do not guard the eggs or the fry, which require brackish water
Brackish water
Brackish water is water that has more salinity than fresh water, but not as much as seawater. It may result from mixing of seawater with fresh water, as in estuaries, or it may occur in brackish fossil aquifers. The word comes from the Middle Dutch root "brak," meaning "salty"...

 to develop.

The species is sequentially hermaphroditic
In biology, a hermaphrodite is an organism that has reproductive organs normally associated with both male and female sexes.Many taxonomic groups of animals do not have separate sexes. In these groups, hermaphroditism is a normal condition, enabling a form of sexual reproduction in which both...

, most individuals maturing as males and becoming female after at least one spawning season; most of the larger specimens are therefore female. Fish held in captivity sometimes demonstrate features atypical of fish in the wild: they change sex at a smaller size, exhibit a higher proportion of protogyny and some males do not undergo sexual inversion
Sexual inversion
Sexual inversion may refer to:* Sexual inversion , a term for homosexuality found primarily in older scientific literature* A metamorphic change in the gender of an animal...


Recreational fishing

Highly prized by anglers
Fishing is the activity of trying to catch wild fish. Fish are normally caught in the wild. Techniques for catching fish include hand gathering, spearing, netting, angling and trapping....

 for their good fighting ability, barramundi are reputed to be good at avoiding fixed nets and best caught on lines and with fishing lure
Fishing lure
A fishing lure is an object attached to the end of a fishing line which is designed to resemble and move like the prey of a fish. The purpose of the lure is to use movement, vibration, and colour to catch the fish's attention so it bites the hook...

s. In Australia, the barramundi is used to stock freshwater reservoirs for recreational fishing.

These "impoundment barramundi," as they are known by anglers, have grown in popularity as a "catch and release" fish. Popular stocked barramundi impoundments include Lake Tinaroo near Cairns in the Atherton Tablelands, Peter Faust Dam near the Whitsundays, Teemburra Dam near Mackay, Lake Moondarra
Lake Moondarra
Lake Moondarra is an artificial lake on the Leichhardt River, 16 km downstream from the town of Mount Isa. It provides water supply to the town and the adjacent Mount Isa Mines mining lease....

 near Mount Isa, Lake Awoonga
Lake Awoonga
Lake Awoonga was formed on the Boyne River by the dam located from Gladstone, in Central Queensland, Australia. It is approximately 30 minutes drive from Gladstone, via Benaraby.Lake Awoonga is the main water supply for the Gladstone region...

 near Gladstone
Gladstone, Queensland
- Education :Gladstone has several primary schools, three high schools, and one university campus, Central Queensland University. It is also home to CQIT Gladstone Campus.- Recreation :...

, and Lake Monduran south of Lake Awoonga.

Fishing techniques revolve mainly around casting and retrieving all types of lures including soft and hard body lures. Trolling is also a favored and productive technique for impoundment barramundi.

Impoundment barramundi are also a popular target with surface lures as they are known to eat all types of foods from the surface of the water including frogs, injured baitfish and even baby swans and other birds.

The distinct 'boof!' noise which barramundi make when surface feeding can easily be recognised and echo up to long distances at quiet times like still nights.

Many anglers travel to Queenslands barramundi impoundments to catch the elusive 'metrey', a barramundi measuring in excess of a metre and weighing anywhere from 10 kg - 25 kg, depending on the fat level.

When hooked on a lure, the barramundi will often clear itself from the water several times throughout the battle and make long powerful runs. This makes it a popular target species.

The eating quality of impoundment barramundi is quite low, with a rating of 1 out of 10

The flesh has a 'muddy' taste due to the barramundi spending all of its life in silty, freshwater environments, although there are recipes which claim to remove or mask the muddy taste.

The record for the biggest line caught Barramundi is 44.6 kg at Lake Monduran QLD (December 2010), others have been caught larger but a growing trend for catch and release fishing has sustained this record. It is a quest for many impoundment anglers to catch a 100 pounder, which to date has never been achieved.

The Saltwater Barramundi caught in rivers around Darwin, Northern Territory, has a much better taste as the fish is cleaner. Many Queensland anglers travel to the Northern Territory to fish the once a year fresh water run off which produces some of Australia's greatest Barramundi catches. The Northern Territory rivers such as East Alligator, South Alligator, Daly River, Shady Camp, Roper River and Victoria River has great reputations amongst national and inter-national fishing circles, attracting many each year.

Commercial fishing and aquaculture

The fish is of large commercial importance; it is fished internationally and raised in aquaculture
Aquaculture, also known as aquafarming, is the farming of aquatic organisms such as fish, crustaceans, molluscs and aquatic plants. Aquaculture involves cultivating freshwater and saltwater populations under controlled conditions, and can be contrasted with commercial fishing, which is the...

 in Australia, Malaysia, India, Indonesia
Indonesia , officially the Republic of Indonesia , is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 13,000 islands. It has 33 provinces with over 238 million people, and is the world's fourth most populous country. Indonesia is a republic, with an...

, Israel, Thailand
Thailand , officially the Kingdom of Thailand , formerly known as Siam , is a country located at the centre of the Indochina peninsula and Southeast Asia. It is bordered to the north by Burma and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, and to the...

, the United States and Poland. The Australian barramundi industry is relatively established with an annual production of more than 4000 tons. In the broader Southeast Asian region production is estimated to exceed 30,000 tons. By contrast, the US industry produces about 800 tons a year from a single facility.
Barramundi under culture will commonly grow from an ex-hatchery juvenile, between 50 and 100 mm in length to a table size of 400-600g within 12 months and to 3.0 kg within 18–24 months.

Aquarium use

Smaller specimens are a popular aquarium fish and can be very entertaining especially at feeding time. However they grow quickly, so it is not recommended that they be kept in any set up of less than 5 feet ( 500 litres)
In aquaria they become quite tame and can be hand fed, they are non aggressive species however the feeding reflex is violent and sudden so they can not be kept with any tank mates small enough to be swallowed.

As food

Barramundi have white, flaky flesh, though the larger freshwater individuals commonly carry a significant amount of body fat. Saltwater barramundi, however, have a better reputation.

In Australia, Barramundi is an iconic table fish revered across the whole country. It could be said that it is a quintessential Australian brand. Its name is after all derived from an Australian Aboriginal name. However, such is the demand for the fish that a substantial amount of Barramundi consumed in Australia is actually imported. This has placed significant economic pressure on Australian producers, both fishers and farmers whose costs are significantly greater due to the stringent environmental and food safety standards placed on them by government. While Country of Origin Labeling has given consumers greater certainty over the origins of their Barramundi at the retail level, there is no requirement for the food service and restaurant trades to label the origins of their Barramundi. It is best Pan-fried, seal skin first.

Barramundi are a favourite food of the region's apex predator
Apex predator
Apex predators are predators that have no predators of their own, residing at the top of their food chain. Zoologists define predation as the killing and consumption of another organism...

 the Saltwater Crocodile
Saltwater Crocodile
The saltwater crocodile, also known as estuarine or Indo-Pacific crocodile, is the largest of all living reptiles...

 (Crocodylus porosus), which have been known to take them from unwary fishermen.

Nile perch
Nile perch
The Nile perch is a species of freshwaterfish in family Latidae of order Perciformes. It is widespread throughout muchof the Afrotropic ecozone, being native to the Congo, Nile, Senegal, Niger, and Lake Chad, Volta, Lake Turkana and other river basins. It also occurs in the brackish waters of...

—a similar fish found in the Afrotropic
The Afrotropic is one of the Earth's eight ecozones. It includes Africa south of the Sahara Desert, the southern and eastern fringes of the Arabian Peninsula, the island of Madagascar, southern Iran and extreme southwestern Pakistan, and the islands of the western Indian Ocean. It was formerly...

 Ecozone, or Sub-Saharan Africa—is often mislabeled as barramundi. It does not fall under the recommendation for U.S.-farmed barramundi. The species was originally assigned to genus Holocentrus, in the beryciform
Beryciformes is an order of ray-finned fishes. This is a very poorly understood group of 16 families, 57 genera, and about 219 species. Some people believe that it is probably an artificial assemblage of unrelated taxa that are thrown together for convenience only; there are no convincing...

 family Holocentridae
The Holocentridae is a family of ray-finned fish, belonging to the order Beryciformes with the members of the subfamily Holocentrinae typically known as squirrelfish, while the members of Myripristinae typically are known as soldierfish...


Thai cuisine

Barramundi from local fish farms are known as Pla Krapong in Thailand
Thailand , officially the Kingdom of Thailand , formerly known as Siam , is a country located at the centre of the Indochina peninsula and Southeast Asia. It is bordered to the north by Burma and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, and to the...

. Since its introduction it has become one of the most popular fishes in Thai cuisine. It is often eaten steamed with lime
Lime (fruit)
Lime is a term referring to a number of different citrus fruits, both species and hybrids, which are typically round, green to yellow in color, 3–6 cm in diameter, and containing sour and acidic pulp. Limes are a good source of vitamin C. Limes are often used to accent the flavors of foods and...

 and garlic
Allium sativum, commonly known as garlic, is a species in the onion genus, Allium. Its close relatives include the onion, shallot, leek, chive, and rakkyo. Dating back over 6,000 years, garlic is native to central Asia, and has long been a staple in the Mediterranean region, as well as a frequent...

, as well as deep-fried or stir-fried with lemongrass, among a variety of many other ways. Pla Krapong can be seen in aquariums in many restaurants in Thailand, where sometimes this fish is wrongly labeled as "snapper" or "sea-bass" in menus. Traditionally Lutjanidae
Snappers are a family of perciform fish, mainly marine but with some members inhabiting estuaries, feeding in freshwater. Some are important food fish. One of the best known is the red snapper....

snappers were known as Pla Krapong before the introduction of Barramundi in Thai aquaculture, but presently snapper is rarely served in restaurants in the main cities and in interior Thailand.

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.