Barramundi – Lates calcarifer, Asian sea bass.

Identifying Characteristics

  • Elongated body, with a prominent upper jaw.
  • Large scales that are ctenoid (toothed on the edges).
  • During their life cycle they migrate from freshwater to brackish water to spawn. They are hermaphrodites, where the males turn into females at 5 or 6 years, requiring them to be in saltwater for this to happen.
  • Barramundi feed on small fish, insects and crustaceans, and also on other barramundi.

Range and Habitat

  • They range throughout the Persian gulf, China, Japan, Papua New Guinea, and Northern Australia.
  • Barramundi live in the demersal zone, close to the ocean floor.
  • They live in fresh and saltwater fish, in coastal areas, lagoons, estuaries, lakes, and rivers.

Market Forms

  • These fish are important to the commercial and sport fishing industries.
  • Their flesh turns from a pinky-white color to white with large flakes. The flavor is sweet and mild, and can be compared to a Chilean seabass with its oil content.
  • Barramundi is often cooked with skin on as it cooks up nicely and can stand up to a wide range of cooking methods.

Image of barramundi courtesy russellstreet via Flickr CC by SA 2.0 license.

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