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Barramundi

Summary

Barramundi are known to be fast growers which is very beneficial for fish farmers however, because of this, size grading must be done regularly since they are cannibalistic. Moreover, they are able to tolerate crowding and are considered hardy fish since they could adjust to wide physiological changes.

Requirements

Barramundi inhabits fresh, brackish and marine habitats. Good water quality is highly required by barramundi with a good aeration system. They can tolerate a wide salinity level from 0 to 36 ppt, pH 7.5-8.5 and prefer a culture environment with water temperature ranging from 26ºC to 28ºC.

Growing

Barramundi are opportunistic predator fast growing fish. They require high protein and lipids in their diet. In fish farms, they could be fed alternately with trash fish and pellets. They can easily wean and feed on formulated pellets which is more sustainable than using trash fish as their food. Good feeding practices must be maintained to minimize environmental pollution and production cost. During warmer months, they are fed twice a day while only once during colder months either by hand-feeding or automatic feeder. Their growth depends on feed quality, feeding rate, stocking density and rearing temperature.

Harvesting

Harvesting could be done through lift net, seine nets or drain harvesting. Harvested fish must be put directly into an ice slurry to preserve the quality of their flesh. Depending on the target market, fish could be sold live, ‘gut-in’ or they can be processed further for value-adding.

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