Frequently Asked Questions
Barramundi (Lates calcarifer) or Asian sea bass is native to the Indo-Pacific. They are diadromous fish, which means they spawn in saltwater and can then occupy freshwater, brackish or marine waters. They are highly valued as a commercially and recreationally fished species and are considered particularly well suited for aquaculture.
Their natural habitat spans from Northern Australia throughout Southeast Asia, and as far west as the coastal waters of India and Sri Lanka. Farmed barramundi generally come from countries within its native habitat; including Vietnam, Indonesia and Australia. Land-based barramundi farms also exist in several countries, such as our former Turners Falls, Massachusetts facility.
Barramundi is a delicious, mild-tasting white fish. Ocean-farmed barramundi by Australis Aquaculture has a clean, buttery flavor with a succulent and firm texture. It offers a silky mouthfeel and a delicate skin that crisps perfectly when seared.
It’s a perfect choice for non-fish lovers or newbies, who don’t care for strong-tasting fish, We often hear from happy parents that picky kids like this fish! Simply put: It’s awesome.
Sustainable ocean farming, as practiced by Australis Aquaculture, creates a wholesome and socially responsible food source while alleviating pressure on our oceans’ wild fish supply. Every aspect of production and transportation are thoughtfully designed to reduce resource consumption and carbon emissions and protect sensitive marine habitats.
Our Barramundi is fed a predominantly plant-based protein diet with a modest amount of sustainably sourced fishmeal and fish oil. This helps us achieve a low fish-in-fish-out ratio of below 1:1, so the company is not taking more fish from the environment than it produces. Learn more about our practices on the Our Fish page.
Yes, barramundi is a type of tropical sea bass (but to call barramundi simply as “sea bass” would be oversimplifying things). Its common scientific name is ‘Asian seabass’ but its FDA-approved market name is barramundi in the U.S. To learn more, read our blog post.
Bar-ra-MUN-dee. We think it’s fun to say.
The Better Fish® Barramundi
The Better Fish® Barramundi has been heralded as “the perfect fish for a changing world,” because it offers an exceptional culinary, nutritional, and sustainability profile unmatched by any other fish.
Australis Aquaculture is the world’s largest producer of barramundi and a leader in tropical marine aquaculture. We are an American company headquartered in Greenfield, Massachusetts that operates a vertically-integrated barramundi farm in Central Vietnam. Our aim is to ensure a more secure and sustainable food future for all by focusing on climate-smart ocean farming and producing a nutrient-packed farmed fish.
The company is led by CEO and co-founder Josh Goldman, a sustainable seafood visionary who has spent the last 30 years developing some of the biggest ideas in aquaculture. Learn more about our award-winning approach to sustainable seafood production.
- Fair Trade Certified by Fair Trade USA
- Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) Certified
- 4-Star Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) Certified
- Whole Foods Market Certified
- BSCI Social Welfare Audit Member
- GFSI Global Food Safety Initiative
Certified organic standards for Barramundi do not currently exist for the North American market. Some fish are produced under non-US organic standards, but there is not a broadly accepted definition of what organic means when applied to fish.
No. We rely on conventional breeding to improve our stock.
The Better Fish® Barramundi has consistently tested below detectable limits for mercury (average of 0.02 ppm). The levels allowed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is 1 ppm.
Wild-caught and farm-raised Barramundi contain different mercury levels due to their very different diets. Methylmercury is primarily a concern in large predatory fish that consume other fish, so large wild-caught barramundi have a higher risk of containing mercury than our farmed barramundi.
Learn more about how we manage and test for methylmercury.
The Better Fish® Barramundi has consistently demonstrated very low PCB levels (average of 0.001 ppm), which equates to 0.5% of the levels allowed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (2 ppm). Our Barramundi are fed to ensure very low levels of contaminant exposure and we routinely conduct high-sensitivity testing for PCB’s, dioxins, and dioxin-like compounds.
We have chosen to focus on supplying flash-frozen barramundi for three reasons:
#1 To provide customers with the highest quality.
By flash freezing immediately after harvest, we essentially ‘stop time’ and preserve the just harvested condition of our fish until you’re ready to enjoy them. With proper thawing, even trained professionals find it nearly impossible to taste any difference. Many “fresh” fish that you find on the market have been out of the water for many days, if not weeks! Professional chefs are increasingly encouraging more use of frozen seafood.
#2 To offer more convenience at an affordable price.
Unless you live on the coast, it can be challenging to buy locally-caught fish. Our barramundi provides year-round access to one of the most delicious, healthy and sustainable options available at a lower cost than many fresh fish.
#3 To minimize our carbon footprint and food waste.
Frozen can be a lot more eco-friendly than fresh. By concentrating on frozen, we can farm one of the world’s most sustainable fish within its natural habitat and then get them to you as efficiently as possible. Most fish consumed in the US are transported long distances. Airfreight is both expensive and energy-intensive. The Better Fish® Barramundi is shipped by sea, resulting in approximately 90 percent less CO2 emissions than fish which is transported by air. We also know that food waste has become a huge problem—particularly for seafood. It’s estimated 30% of fresh seafood is wasted before use. By purchasing frozen The Better Fish® Barramundi, you use what you need when you need it, with practically zero waste.
We work hard to remove all of the bones for you so that you can cook, eat, and enjoy without hassle.
Yes! Barramundi’s skin is delicate, buttery, and crisps up beautifully. To get great results, pat the skin very dry, dust it with a little rice or white flour and pan sear with butter or oil using moderately high heat. Cook skin side down first and be patient by not turning it too soon.
Simply Skinless and Simply Skin-on Barramundi contain just barramundi! We don’t treat or adulterate of our fish in any way.
Barramundi, corn starch, sea salt, cane sugar, sweet cream solids, tapioca maltodextrin, natural butter flavor, dehydrated garlic, dehydrated onion, citric acid, parsley, lemon juice concentrate, rice concentrate, spices, chives, xanthan gum, turmeric extract, and garlic oil.
Contains: Fish, Milk.
Barramundi, cane sugar, corn starch, dehydrated vegetables (garlic and onion, tomato, sun dried tomato, red bell pepper, chive), natural butter flavor, sea salt, sweet cream solids, tapioca maltodextrin, spices, citric acid, xanthan gum, and turmeric extract.
Contains: Fish, Milk.
Barramundi, wheat flour, enriched wheat flour (enriched with niacin, reduced iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), vegetable oil (canola, cottonseed and/or soybean), rice starch, water, salt, sugar, yeast, garlic powder, spices (including celery seed), natural flavor, extractives of paprika (color).
Contains: Fish, Wheat.
Barramundi, aged shoyu (soy sauce: water, soy beans, wheat, salt), evaporated cane juice (unrefined sugar), saké (rice wine), water, rice vinegar, ginger root, garlic, red pepper, spices.
Contains: Fish, Wheat, Soy.
The Better Fish® Barramundi is also an excellent source of lean protein (21g per 4 oz serving) with only half the calories of farmed salmon.
Our Barramundi are clean and fully traceable with non-detectable levels of mercury, PCBs, and other contaminants. They are also raised without antibiotics, added hormones, or chemicals.
The Better Fish® Barramundi boasts one of the highest levels of omega-3 fatty acids of any commonly eaten white fish. On average, a 4 oz (113 g) serving of The Better Fish® Barramundi has 650 mg of combined EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids, and that value roughly doubles if you eat the skin!
The Better Fish® Barramundi also boast an optimal 1:1 ratio of omega-6 to 3 that enables better absorption of omega-3’s.
The Better Fish® Barramundi products are not certified kosher. However, we do produce certified kosher Barramundi for some customers under their own brands.
Our skinless fillets are produced in accordance with kosher standards but are not certified as kosher due to the inspection requirements of certifying organizations.
Yes. Our Barramundi is Halal certified.
Our Simply Skinless Barramundi is gluten-free. Garlic Teriyaki Barramundi and Crispy Barramundi Tenders are not gluten-free. A binding agent in our Lemon Herb Butter Barramundi and Tuscan Herb Butter Barramundi may contain gluten.
Yes! It is great as sashimi, sushi, crudo or in ceviche. Our lawyer requires us to say that consuming raw fish may increase your risk for foodborne illness. We flash freeze our fish to -45 degrees Celcius, which is consistent with the FDA’s guidelines for sushi-grade fish. We do not recommend consuming our flavored or breaded products raw.
No. Our raw fillets never contain any added preservatives. We leverage state-of-the-art freezing technology to rapidly freeze our fish within hours of harvest, allowing it to preserve peak flavor and quality until you decide to thaw it.
Frozen fish is just as nutritious as never frozen, according to the Natural Fisheries Institute. For fish that is properly frozen immediately after harvest, like our barramundi, the nutritional value and flavor are extremely well preserved. In blind taste tests, trained panelists have actually preferred well handled frozen immediately fish over fresh. Learn more about why you should consider frozen fish.
Nothing lasts forever. We recommend that our frozen Barramundi be used within two years from the harvest date. The best buy date on each pack makes this easy.
Barramundi is foolproof in the kitchen. Its optimal oil content helps to minimize the risk of overcooking, yet it never smells fishy. It retains moisture and is a versatile canvas for professional chefs and home cooks alike.
Master basic fish cooking techniques with our How-To videos.
Need more inspiration? Check out our recipe library.
Barramundi can be used in any white fish recipe. It can be a great swap for less sustainable or more expensive species like Chilean sea bass, halibut, grouper, snapper, mahi-mahi, and cod.
Barramundi is well suited to grilling, searing, roasting, frying, poaching, smoking, or as sashimi, ceviche, and crudo. Barramundi lends itself to a myriad of international cuisines and styles and can be used in fish sandwiches, fish tacos, fish and chips, pasta dishes, and chowders.
Check out our recipe library for more inspiration and ideas.
For best results, you may opt to slow thaw it in your refrigerator overnight. To do this properly, make sure to remove the fish from the vacuum packaging first and rinse off the protective ice coating. Place on a paper-towel lined plate or tray and allow 12-24 hours to thaw. Use the fish within 1-2 days of thawing.
If you are strapped for time, you can also submerge the vacuum-sealed packaging under cold tap water for 15-20 minutes. Remove the fish from the packaging once it’s thawed. Rinse, pat dry, and use the fish immediately.
Watch this video to see our quick and easy method for thawing frozen fish!
The Better Fish® Barramundi are raised in the ocean, 12 miles offshore in the pristine waters of Van Phong Bay in Central Vietnam. As the largest sea lease holder in Vietnam, we strategically place and rotationally fallow our farms to ensure high water quality with minimal environmental impact.
Barramundi are “Flexitarians”: Barramundi can thrive on a predominantly plant-based protein diet. At Australis, we also leverage sustainably sourced fishmeal and oil derived from the trimmings made by tuna processors, which results in having a low Fish In: Fish Out ratio (FIFO). The FIFO ratio indicates the amount of fish oil and fish meal needed to produce a pound of fish, is under 1:1. That means means we produce more edible fish than we use as feed.
Barramundi are hardy: They are naturally calm and gregarious. They prefer to school and adapted to varying environmental conditions—which allows us to raise them without antibiotics and chemicals.
Barramundi are fast growing: Barramundi are prolific spawners and grow quickly, which helps to ensure that the speed of production can meet the pace of demand.
As natural flexitarians, Barramundi can thrive on a mixed plant and animal-based protein diet.
Our juvenile barramundi dine on zooplankton that we culture on the farm. As they mature they graduate to our custom-formulated feed which is designed to optimize fish health, nutrition while minimizing environmental impact.
We incorporate modest amounts of many different ingredients, including: sustainably-sourced fish meal and fish oil that’s derived from trimmings made by tuna processors, plant-based protein concentrates (via corn and low antigen soy), vegetable oils, micro-algae, seaweed, yeast, insect meal, and herbs (oregano, cinnamon) to boost immunity and promote gut health.
We are continually refining our feed to reduce reliance on fish meal and fish oil without compromising the level of Omega-3 fatty acids in our fish.
The Better Fish® Barramundi have a fish-in fish-out ratio—the amount of fish oil and fish meal required to produce one pound of farmed fish—of less than 1:1, which is significantly lower than wild fish (roughly 10:1) and most other farm-raised fish.
The saltwater effluent from our land-based hatchery and nursery passes through a five stage filtration and treatment process that removes solids and clean the water prior to discharge back to the sea. The solids are then applied as fertilizer back to the land.
Climate-Smart Ocean Farming is Australis’ leading-edge approach to sustainable, ocean-based food production. We aim to optimize resource use and reduce the environmental impact of our Barramundi farm and support a better food system overall.
To complement our efforts in sustainable fish production, we are also working on a one-of-a-kind seaweed integration project that is specifically designed to combat ocean acidification and reduce methane emissions from ruminant animal production. To learn more, visit GreenerGrazing.org.
It takes between 18 to 24 months for our fish to reach harvest.
Australis is committed to ensuring its practices meet or exceed all relevant guidelines and standards and for animal welfare pertaining to farm-raised fish. The premise of our approach is to ensure our fish can live in a manner which supports optimal health and well-being. This is accomplished by making sure that the farming environment, water quality, culture densities and handling methods minimize stress and promote social interactions.
Australis’ hatchery, farm, and processing facility are Fair Trade, Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC), and Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) certified. Learn more about our certifications here.
Our handling and harvesting methods conform to the Humane Slaughter Associates 2014 guidance document on humane harvesting of fish. The standards generally comply with the Business Benchmark of Farm Animal Welfare’s Farm Animal Welfare Standards.
Sorry, we do not.
The Better Fish® Barramundi is available at a variety of retailers across the U.S. Use our Store Locator to find the retailer nearest you. You can also purchase The Better Fish® Barramundi online through Instacart, Amazon, and QVC.
We also sell our fish to restaurants around the country. If you’re interested in adding barramundi to your menu, contact our sales team through our Wholesale page.
All of our retail and the majority of our foodservice products are flash frozen. For the best Barramundi experience, we recommend purchasing our frozen product and letting it thaw overnight in your fridge. Learn more about why you should consider frozen fish.
Not anymore. We started out as a land-based aquaculture company based in Turners Falls, MA. In 2018, we made the decision to sell this operation in order to focus 100% on our ocean-based farm in Central Vietnam.
Our bags are packed to reach a specific weight, so the number of fillets may vary. During the packaging process, staff individually weight each piece and double check the weight of the bag before sealing. Variation in size of our fish at harvest means there can be differences in the number of fillets in each bag.
Our Lemon Herb Butter, Tuscan Herb Butter, and Garlic Teriyaki bags are a bit “puffy”! Based on customer feedback, we decided to fill our pouches with nitrogen to help preserve freshness. It’s a common practice in the snacks and chips aisle, but we’re taking the lead on this in seafood to give you a better eating experience.
Please let us know what the situation is by completing the Contact form. It would help us out a lot if you have the Lot Code (printed on the clear panel on the back of the bag) and any product photos.
Our products often sell faster than store buyers anticipate, so sometimes the stores don’t order enough. There are two things that you can do to help keep The Better Fish® Barramundi on the shelf:
The first is to voice your concern at the store or on their social media. The next time you’re in the store, please ask for the seafood buyer and ask them to make sure that The Better Fish® Barramundi remains in stock for you.
The second is to reach out to us and let us know which location you’re having trouble with. We will reach out to our retail contact on your behalf to request adequately stocking is maintained.
Tell them that you’d love for them to carry The Better Fish® Barramundi! Your voice matters in bringing more sustainable, responsibly-farmed seafood to grocery stores.
We are committed to customer satisfaction and offer replacements and refunds on a case-by-case basis.
To begin this process, fill out the Contact form. To qualify for a refund or replacement, please have: Description of product, lot number (printed on the clear panel on the back of the bag), and ideally photos of the fish and its packaging.