'Barramundi' Naming Rights for Australia

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Did you know despite being our native fish, with its Aboriginal name, over 60% of barramundi eaten in Australia is imported from Asia?

Nearly half of Australians don’t know whether their barra is Australian or imported while most assume that the ‘barramundi’ they are eating is Australian (2019 research). Some importers capitalise on the premium reputation of Australian barramundi, by adding a sprinkle of native herbs, or designing branding with Australian connotations to mislead the consumer.

The Australian Fish Names Standard is supposed to remove confusion and strengthen consumer confidence by allowing only one marketing name to be used, but in the case of barramundi it just doesn’t work. While consumers assume their barramundi is Australian, the standard hands that naming privilege to our competitors, and confuses consumers.

Our barra farmers and commercial fishers can’t compete on price with the lower costs of regulation and cheap labour of our overseas competitors. This puts their livelihoods and our access to genuine Australian grown barramundi at risk.

Australian barramundi is grown to high quality standards with stringent regulations guaranteeing safe product, sustainable farming and a safe workplace with fair pay for jobs in Australia.

We believe there is no other fish that has the patriotic meaning to Australia that barramundi has. Whether you’ve enjoyed catching them on holidays up north or had a traditional whole barra on the BBQ at Easter, barra is part of our national and culinary identity.

We are asking the Australian Fish Names Committee to recognise the deep sense of place, identity and culture that Australians identify with barramundi by granting exclusive use of the name ‘barramundi’ to Australian grown or caught barramundi.

This is our version of the appellation naming granted to Champaign, Dijon mustard and Prosecco.

Imported Lates Calcarifer (the scientific name for barramundi) could be called ‘Asian seabass’ a name commonly used in other countries. This would reserve the name ‘barramundi’ for Australian grown or caught fish. The consumer is then free to decide what they would prefer to purchase.  

If you agree that the name barramundi belongs to Australia, and you want a clear way of determining Aussie barra from imported fish, please sign our petition.