SCIENTIFIC CLASSIFICATION Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Chordata Class: Actinopterygii Order: Perciformes Family: Latidae Genus: Lates Species: Lates calcarifer
Common names: Barramundi, Asian sea bass, Giant Perch, Palmer Perch, White Snapper, Barra
Thai name: Plah Kapong Khao (ปลากระพง)
Thailand status: Native
Max size: 35kg (77lb)
Diet: Fish, molluscs, crustaceans, insects
Habitat: Salt/Brackish/Fresh water
Description: The Barramundi is also widely known as the Asian Sea bass. The name Barramundi is from Aboriginal language and has been made popular in the west mainly for marketing reasons. A very very popular fish in Thailand, both with sport fishermen and to the Thai population as a food fish dues to it’s delicious firm, white, fine-grained meat. The Barramundi is actually native to Thailand and its range goes from the Persian gulf right the way down to Northern Australia. In Thailand they can be caught in the wild fishing close to the shore around the coast near river out lets and estuaries, in brackish lagoons, up reaches of tidal rivers and around mangroves. Barramundi are highly pressured in their natural environment and a lot of patience good skills and most importantly local knowledge is needed to be successful.
In the local food market and restaurants the Thai name of Plah Kapong (ปลากระพง) traditionally referenced snappers of the Lutjanidae family. These other native snapper species became rare and expensive due to over fishing and were replaced as common table fish by the native Barramundi which was very successfully introduced to aquaculture in Thailand in the 1970′s and heavily farmed until the present. These days if you order Plah Kapong in a Thai restaurant you would receive farmed Barramundi rather than traditional wild caught snapper species.