Seafood Watch - Seafood Guide

Barramundi

© Scandinavian Fishing Yearbook/www.scandfish.com
SEAFOODRATINGMARKET NAMESLOCATION/CERTIFICATIONHOW CAUGHT/FARMED
Barramundi Best Choice: These fish are abundant, well managed and fished or farmed in environmentally friendly ways. Asian Seabass, Barra. Giant Perch, Palmer Perch U.S. Farmed in Recirculating Systems
Barramundi Avoid: Avoid these products for now. These fish come from sources that are overfished or fished or farmed in ways that harm the environment. Asian Seabass, Barra. Giant Perch, Palmer Perch Indo Pacific (except Australia) Farmed in Open Systems
Barramundi Good Alternative: These are good alternatives to the best choices column. There are some concerns with how they are fished or farmed – or with the health of their habitats due to other human impacts. Asian Seabass, Barra. Giant Perch, Palmer Perch Australia Farmed in Fully Recirculating Systems
Barramundi Avoid: Avoid these products for now. These fish come from sources that are overfished or fished or farmed in ways that harm the environment. Asian Seabass, Barra. Giant Perch, Palmer Perch Indonesia Wild


Barramundi, Farmed

Barramundi in the U.S. is farmed in an environmentally sound way, making it a "Best Choice." There are concerns about how barramundi from Australia is produced, but it is still a "Good Alternative" to barramundi from other areas of the Indo-Pacific. Most imported barramundi is farmed in open net pens or cages that pose a variety of problems and should therefore be avoided.

Consumer Note

Consumers should be aware that Nile perch, an invasive species fished in Lake Victoria, Africa, is often mislabeled as barramundi and does not fall under our recommendation for U.S. farmed barramundi.

Summary

A native of the tropical waters of northern Australia, southeast Asia and southern China, barramundi is a prized sport fish in Australia. Known for its good taste and texture, barramundi is now farmed in the U.S. and becoming widely available to Americans.

Barramundi is well-suited to aquaculture since it's hardy and fast growing. It's also high in omega-3 fatty acids which have beneficial health effects to humans. The way in which they are farmed in the U.S. (in a fully recirculating system) eliminates the risks of fish escapes, disease transfer and pollution.

In some areas of the Indo-Pacific, barramundi is commonly farmed in open net pens or cages that pose a variety of problems including risks of disease, pollution and escaped fish. For this reason, imported barramundi farmed in open net pens or cages should be avoided.


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