Barracouta Biology


SpeciesThyrsites atun
Common NameBarracouta
HabitatOpen water and coastal bays
Depth≤ 550 m (Edgar, 2008; Kailola et al. 1993)
DistributionMidwestern Australia to southern Qld, around Tas. Also widely distributed in temperate latitudes of southern hemisphere (Edgar, 2008)
DietPelagic crustaceans, cephalopods, fishes (e.g. anchovy and jack mackerel) (Nakamura and Parin, 1993)
Stock StructureAt least 5 stocks: 3 in south eastern Australian waters, 1 in South Australia, 1 in Western Australia (Paul, 2000; Kailola et al. 1993)
MovementSchooling fish; some stocks undertake annual migrations lasting 6 – 9 months and covering hundreds of km; moves through water column from surface to 200 m.
M (Natural Mortality)0.3 (Hurst et al. 2012)
Maximum Age (years)10 (potentially ≤ 15) (Hurst et al. 2012; Kailola et al. 1993)
Maximum Length
 (total length; cm)
140 (Edgar, 2008)
Maximum Weight (g)6000 (Edgar, 2008)
Unsexed K (von Bertalanffy growth parameter)0.42
Unsexed t0 (age (years) when length = 0)-0.25
Unsexed L∞ (asymptotic von Bertalanffy length (fork length; cm))91
Length (FL; fork length (cm)) – Weight (W; g) RelationshipW=0.1064 L^2.2385 (Nakamura and Parin, 1993; Grant et al. 1978; Blackburn, 1960)
Size at Maturity
(fork length at sexual maturity (cm))
Age at Maturity
(age at sexual maturity (years))
2-3 (Hurst et al. 2012)
Spawning SeasonOctober – March
Spawning LocationTasmania (Kailola et al. 1993)
Early Life HistoryLittle data available; eggs are pelagic and juveniles inhabit sheltered waters of southern bays and estuaries (Kailola et al. 1993; Hurst et al. 2012)
Gillnet Post Release SurvivalUnknown