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Barramundi

(Lates calcarifer)

Overview

The barramundi is a large, silver fish that changes sex as it grows. Once the fish reaches about 20 inches in length, it transitions from male to female.

Barramundis are born in estuaries. They move temporarily to swamps, then to the mouths and upper regions of rivers until full grown. The fish spend the remainder of their lives in rivers before returning to estuaries to spawn.

Quick Facts

Learn more about the barramundi! Did you know that these fish start off life as male and then change their sex to female?

The northern barramundi lives in the tropical coastal and fresh waters of northern and western Australia, as well as from the eastern edge of the Persian Gulf through China and as far north as southern Papua New Guinea.

Barramundi eat fish, crustaceans and plants.

The northern barramundi grows to a maximum length of about 6 feet.

Barramundi are abundant but at risk due to recreational and commercial fishing, coupled with the length of time it takes this species to mature and reproduce. The population takes between four and 14 years to double in size.

Other large fish (including barramundi themselves) have been known to prey upon juvenile barramundi. As adults, saltwater crocodiles and humans hunt these large fish.

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