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The Barramundi, A Great Game Fish

The word Barramundi comes from the Australian Aboriginal word for a large-scale river fish.

In Australia it has become the accepted name of the fish found throughout South East Asia and Papua New Guinea and referred to as the Asian Sea Bass, giant perch or giant sea perch.

In Australia they are found in the subtropical and tropical waters in the North of the country and are highly prized by fishermen as a sport fish and as delicious eating fish.

They feed on crustaceans, mollusks and smaller fish.

Left to grow they can grow to be up to 60 kilograms however it is unusual to find them at this size they are usually caught at around 6kgs.

In the Northern Territory there is a limit to what size can be caught with 55cm the min length with a bag limit of 5 fish.

Farmed Barra are smaller and are marketed as plate size.

The barramundi becomes male at 3 years and then around age 5 changes to a female.

At the start of the wet the males go down river to meet the females who lay a large number of eggs. The eggs develop and hatch in brackish water in the tidal zone and mature in fresh water.

Aborigines of Arnhem Land construct funnel shaped fish traps out of bark to catch the fish as they swim upstream.

The larger opening draws closed as they push on the small end opposite where they came in.

These traps are quite beautiful and are also valued as works of art and are sold in Galleries in Darwin.

When they are caught they are then wrapped in bark and placed in a hole dug in the sand and filled with hot coals to cook them.

This fish is such a part of the Aboriginals lives in the North of Australia that there are many paintings of them.