Japanese Sea Bass

Lateolabrax japonicus

Common Name(s)

Japanese Sea Perch ; French: Bar du Japon ; Spanish: Serránido japonés

Insufficient Information

Insufficient information to assess risk


There is evidence that many of the potential environmental risks of the operation are managed at some level, however risks are not fully mitigated, and there is still room for improvement.

Traditional Chinese

花鱸 ("Far Low") 百花鱸 ("Bark Far Low")

Simplified Chinese





Cá Vược Nhật


Click Here

Date of Assessments

March 2020

Peer Reviewer

Dr Jose Domingos, James Cook University, Singapore

Assessment Organisation

RS Standards




  • Lateolabrax japonicus is a coastal perch species found in brackish and marine waters in the Western Pacific, from Japan to the South China Sea.
  • Found in moving water of inshore rocky reefs. Juveniles may ascend rivers and return to sea to spawn.
  • Protandrous, sex change happens after maturation. Males mature at age 2 years, becoming females when older.
  • Spawning occurs during winter, in deeper rocky reefs or inshore areas.
  • Feeds on zooplankton at an early age and on small fish and shrimps as adults.
  • Japanese Sea Bass (Lateolabrax japonicus) is a coastal perch species found in brackish and marine waters in the Western Pacific, from Japan to the South China Sea.
  • It is known commonly as Japanese sea bass, Japanese seaperch, or Suzuki in Japan. Two other species of “sea bass” native to Asia are also marketed under similar common names: the Asian sea bass or barramundi (Lates calcarifer), and the Korean sea bass or blackfin sea bass (Lateolabrax latus).
  • According to the FAO, Japan accounts for the largest wild capture fishery for Lateolabrax japonicus, followed by Korea, and Taiwan, amounting to a total of 8,146 tonnes of global marine landings in 2017.
  • However, aquaculture production of this species far surpasses capture fisheries, with a total of 166,340 tonnes of L.japonicus global aquaculture production in 2017. The vast majority of this comes from China (approximately 94%), followed by Taiwan where much research has gone in to fry and fingerling production. Korea also produces a small amount of L. japonicus through aquaculture, largely for domestic consumption.
  • There are two L.japonicus farms in Guangdong, China certified by Best Aquaculture Practices, the first of the species to achieve BAP certification (BAP, 2016).

Net pens / cages, marine fish

The design of the cage may be circular or square, and sophistication ranges from homemade floating bamboo cages to commercially produced cages with high quality materials. Broodstock are often held in land-based tanks alongside nursery operations. Once the nursery stage is complete, fingerlings are transferred to the net cages where they are grown to market size. Feeding is conducted daily, and size grading occurs once a month to reduce the risk of cannibalism. Net cages should be moved every 2-3 years to prevent negative impacts to the bottom habitat below. The floating cages are often homemade with locally available and inexpensive materials. Many marine fish species are commonly raised this way.

  • The latin species name
  • Evidence of the country of origin, name and location of the farm
  • Evidence that the farm is compliant with national regulations
  • Evidence that production is controlled in a way that minimises impact on the wider marine environment (i.e. there is local planning, water quality testing etc.)
  • Evidence of where the seed originates
  • Evidence that the seed used on the farm has come from sustainable sources
  • Evidence of where the feed originates
  • Evidence that the feed used on the farm has come from sustainable sources
  • Evidence that the farm does not use any banned medicines / chemicals
  • Evidence that there is a plan / procedure in place to manage animal husbandry


No Known FIP


  • Japanese Sea Bass production in China can be considered to be a medium risk.
  • There is some monitoring of water quality and feed use though not to any prescribed standard. The cumulative impacts of nutrient pollution from neighboring farms in the area are not taken into account during site planning.
  • Trash fish was originally the most common type of feed in japonicus aquaculture, however, an artificial extruded feed was developed and is now widely available.
  • Significant research continues on improving the sustainability of feed for japonicus by identifying alternative protein sources to fishmeal.
  • Antibiotics are utilized in the culture of japonicus in China to control disease.
  • Marine cage farming reached commercial scale in China in the early 1980s and continued to develop rapidly with the advancement of techniques for culture of several species, including japonicus. Specific regulations for aquaculture were extremely limited or absent in these early decades, but in recent years China’s government has worked to address aquaculture development.
  • There is insufficient information to assess the risk of Japanese Sea Bass production in the Taiwan.
  • In 2017, Taiwan produced 7,640 tonnes of Lateolabrax japonicus through aquaculture (FAO). Much research on aquaculture development has occurred in Taiwan over the past few decades, and Lateolabrax japonicus is one such species of focus.
  • Broodstock and artificial propagation technology has been well established since the 1990s and fry producers in Taiwan often export their product, though there are some who also stock their own grow out facilities.
  • There is insufficient information to assess the risk of Japanese Sea Bass production in South Korea.
  • In 2017 South Korea produced 2,105 tonnes of Lateolabrax japonicus through aquaculture (FAO).