Barramundi (Lates calcarifer) farming is the second largest aquaculture activity in Queensland after marine prawn farming.
Barramundi are grown in a variety of culture systems across Australia. Queensland's climate permits pond-based production of plate-sized fish, while one sea cage operation produces larger fish. Southern states use recirculating tank-based systems.
Most of the product is marketed to domestic wholesalers and supermarket chains as whole fish or fillets, but export markets are becoming more important. The main market is for larger fish (2-3kg), with plate-sized fish (400-800g) still accounting for a large portion of sales. Plate-sized barramundi can be produced in the first year. Barramundi require a second growout season to reach weights of 2-3kg.
There is significant expansion proposed for the barramundi industry in Queensland, particularly in major pond-based operations. The industry continues to improve productivity and efficiency. Despite increasing formulated feed costs, production costs are decreasing. As with other aquaculture industries, economies of scale are important in reducing production costs.
This guide provides an overview of barramundi aquaculture in Queensland.