Latin name: Lates calcarifer

Common name: Barra

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Wild Caught


Key Facts

  • There are no formal stock assessments for barramundi in NT or WA. The measures that both jurisdictions use to monitor stock health of barramundi, including assessment of long-term catch records, indicate that stocks are healthy.
  • The NT and WA fisheries interact with threatened species, such as dolphins, crocodiles and sawfish. Interactions are not thought to be resulting in population declines and area closures and marine parks should confer protection to endangered species.
  • Independent observer coverage is due to begin again in 2018 in the NT. It is non-existent in WA, a major concern offset by the small scale of the fishery.

More information

  • Northern Territory Barramundi Fishery (344t 2015)
  • WA Kimberley Gillnet and Barramundi Fishery (52t 2016)

There are no formal stock assessments for barramundi stocks in NT or WA. The NT monitors the stock health of barramundi by assessing long-term catch records and by tagging and releasing fish and recording the number that are re-caught in commercial fisheries. There are concerns about poor recruitment of young barramundi into the population due to poor weather; however, the annual harvest of the stock is less than 5% of the population.

Fisheries in WA focus on only a few of the multiple stocks of barramundi. Fishing effort is low and newly established marine parks provide protection for some stocks from commercial fishing in some parts of the fishery, notably Roebuck Bay where all commercial effort has been removed from what was a major source of catch. There are no major sustainability concerns.

Threatened species caught in the NT and WA fisheries include dolphins, crocodiles and sawfish. The NT fishing industry has developed a Code of Practice that details the best methods to release bycatch alive. Given the wide distribution of the protected species caught and the moderate interaction rates previously recorded by independent observers, there are no indications the fisheries are causing population declines of any protected species. There are extensive areas closed to gillnet fishing in NT waters and recently established marine parks in WA that are likely to confer a degree of protection to endangered species.

There has been previous independent observer coverage in NT, where the program is due to begin again in 2018. There is no observer coverage in WA, which is a concern offset by the small scale of the fishery.