Marine Harvest introduced barramundi farmed in sea cages as a commercial product for European markets at the Brussels Seafood Exposition, 6–8 May 2003. Australia’s favorite fish, the barramundi is excellent seafood and further expands the Marine Harvest species range.
Potential customers were able to see and taste barramundi on the Marine Harvest stand in Brussels, said Craig Foster, Barramundi Project Manager in Australia, “and we know that several customers are already keen. We have the logistics in place for daily despatches to almost any major location in Europe. The product range includes whole fish or portions, fresh or frozen.
“Barramundi is a very versatile fish, equally at home in a white-table restaurant or on a summer barbecue, which is why the Australians like it so much. With our unique development of effective sea-farming techniques, Marine Harvest is now able to offer a consistent supply into Europe. It already has established a market for barramundi to discerning restaurants in the US, where it was featured at the Boston show in March this year.”
The Marine Harvest barramundi is farmed in tropical waters on the northern coast of Australia. “The challenges are somewhat different from those encountered with coldwater species,” adds Craig Foster. “Our farming team has to contend with four-metre sharks and crocodiles, poisonous jellyfish and the occasional cyclone.
“We have established the farm together with the Tiwi people of Bathurst Island, 120kms north of Darwin. The Darwin Aquaculture Centre and the Northern Territories Government also played key roles. We harvest twice weekly, 52 weeks a year, process locally and can deliver in Europe within 24hrs of packing, which means 48–72hrs after harvest. All Marine Harvest barramundi products meet the relevant Australian and European food quality and safety requirements.
“The first harvests were in May 2002 and we now supply to every major city in Australia. As the scale of production increases we are able to expand our markets and Europe offers great potential.”