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Frequently asked questions

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What is barramundi?

Barramundi (Lates calcarifer) is a species of diadromous fish native to Australia, where it is iconic and hugely popular, and the Indo-Pacific. Its habitat spans from Southeast Asia, including Vietnam, to the coastal waters of India and Sri Lanka. Barramundi is aboriginal for “large scaled silver fish,” and it’s also known as Giant Perch, Asian Sea Bass. Delicious and affordable, barramundi is a sustainable replacement for more expensive white fish, many of whose populations are dwindling due to overfishing. See why we believe it’s going to be the “it” fish of the future.

What is Australis Barramundi?

Australis Barramundi has been heralded as “the perfect fish for a changing world,” because it offers an exceptional culinary, nutritional, and sustainability profile that is unmatched by any other fish. Australis Aquaculture is an American company operating from Turners Falls, Massachusetts and Van Phong Bay, Vietnam. By delivering on the promise of next-generation ocean farming, and the nutritional benefits of eating fish, Australis aims to ensure a more secure food future for all. Learn more about our approach to sustainable food production.

How do you pronounce “Australis Barramundi”?

Aw-STRAY-lis Bar-ra-MUN-dee.

What does Australis Barramundi taste like?

It is mild and graceful, with a clean and buttery flavor, succulent and meaty texture. It offers a silky mouthfeel and a delicate skin that crisps perfectly. For non-fish lovers, it’s a great choice if you don’t like strong-tasting fish. Barramundi’s moderate fat content minimizes the risk of overcooking, making it forgiving (and relatively odorless) in the kitchen. It retains moisture and is a versatile culinary canvas for professional chefs and home cooks alike. It’s well suited to grilling, searing, roasting, frying, smoking, or as sashimi, ceviche, and crudo. Check out our library of recipes for inspiration.

What types of fish can barramundi substitute for?

Barramundi can be swapped in for less sustainable/more expensive species like Chilean seabass, halibut, grouper, snapper, mahi mahi, and cod. Is available in a range of sizes from natural fillets to thick-cut portions. It lends itself to a myriad of international cuisines and styles and is great in sandwiches, fish tacos, fish & chips, pasta dishes and chowders.

What are the health benefits of Australis Barramundi? 

Australis Barramundi boasts one of the highest levels of Omega-3 fatty acids of any commonly eaten white fish, averaging over 950mg/6 oz serving. Most mild-flavored fish that are preferred by consumers lack abundant Omega-3s, depriving them of this important health benefit. Barramundi is an excellent source of lean protein (34g/6oz serving) with only half the calories of farmed salmon and as such, it has been called the “Greek yogurt of fish.”

Because food safety and purity are of the utmost importance, we ensure that our barramundi do not have any traceable levels of mercury, PCBs and other contaminants. Since barramundi are naturally hardy, they are raised free of antibiotics, hormones, additives, and colorants. Check out our product page for detailed nutritional facts.

What makes Australis Barramundi sustainable?

Sustainable ocean farming as practiced by Australis Aquaculture creates a wholesome and socially-responsible food source, while alleviating pressure on our planet’s depleted wild fish supply. Every aspect of the production and transportation are designed to reduce resource consumption and protect sensitive marine habitat.

Australis Barramundi are fed a largely vegetarian diet with a modest amount of sustainably-sourced fishmeal and fish oil. This creates a low fish-in fish-out ratio of 1:1 (comparably lower than other predatory fish species such as salmon, tuna, and cod), so the company is not taking more fish from the environment than it produces.

Barramundi are better than many fish at eating low on the food chain and converting grain into fish protein and healthful Omega-3 fatty acids. Farmed fish need only 1.5 lbs. of feed to produce 1 pound of body mass, compared with 2 for chicken, 2.9 for swine and 6.8 for cattle. Learn more about why this is so important on our sustainability page.

What is Climate-Smart Ocean Farming?

Climate-smart ocean farming is a leading-edge approach to sustainable food production that is designed to minimize resource use and environmental impact.

Australis Aquaculture has developed its own proprietary, natural approach to fish farming that produces clean, traceable and healthy fish without the use of chemicals, antibiotics and colorants. Australis marries cutting-edge technology with time-tested technique to enable sustainable ocean farming at scale, making barramundi a cost-effective, resource-efficient protein to feed large populations.

Where is Australis Barramundi farmed?

Nearly all Australis Barramundi are raised six miles offshore in the pristine waters of Van Phong Bay in Central Vietnam. We selected this environment as an ideal location to leverage best practices and scale up the success of our Turners Falls operation. The bay uniquely offers optimal conditions for fish farming:

  • Barramundi is native to the area and the tropical climate is conducive to efficient growth
  • Pristine open-ocean environment; minimal industry and population, designated as an eco-tourism site
  • Strong underwater currents, but limited wave action: prevents accumulation of waste, while offering protection from storms which escape risk
  • Proximity to processing: the fish can be harvested from midnight to 6 AM and is hand processed first thing that morning. This means the barramundi can be flash frozen within 8 hours of leaving the water

We’re proud to be the first-ever ocean-reared marine fish to have received the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch® “Best Choice” rating. Our company continues to explore other locations around the world to implement Climate-Smart Ocean Farming.

How long does it take for Australis Barramundi to reach the harvest size?

It takes anywhere from 12 to 18 months for our fish to reach harvest, depending on their size at harvest.

What are Australis Barramundi fed?

Juvenile barramundi dine on phytoplankton that is cultured at our farm. Maturing barramundi graduate to a sustainably-formulated diet aimed to maximize flavor and nutrition. This means that we are continually refining our feed to reduce our reliance on fishmeal and oil without compromising the Omega-3 levels in our fish. To meet our sustainability goals, we use a blend of soy and corn protein concentrates and seaweed in our feed. We never use land-based animal byproduct in our formulas. By feeding barramundi a well-balanced diet, we’ve been able to achieve an optimal fish-in-fish-out ratio of around 1:1.

Surprising fact: Barramundi are able to elongate short chain fatty acids into omega-3 fatty acids from vegetable/cereal oils. There has been some criticism of aquaculture that every pound of aquaculture fish needs three or more pounds of wild little fish for feed. While that may be true for some species, it is NOT true of barramundi.

Who is actually raising the fish?

We, Australis Aquaculture, are an American company operating from Massachusetts and Van Phong Bay, Vietnam. Australis employs over 200 skilled farm technicians to manage all aspects of our farm. Our technicians carefully monitor the health of the fish, and the quality of the environment by visually inspecting the cages, fish behavior, feed response and monitoring water quality. Our employees are trained to look for indicators of health and early warning signs for problems. Our onsite lab provides support and we also employ more in-depth testing, as required.

Where can I buy Australis Barramundi that’s raised in Massachusetts?

We currently only sell the live barramundi raised from Massachusetts in select US specialty grocery stores.

Do you sell barramundi fingerlings?

Sorry, we do not.