In Japan, Japanese red sea bream (identical to Australian snapper) has been farmed successfully for 30 years, using intensive larval rearing followed by grow out in sea-cages. Farming snapper is now being developed in Australia, with farms currently being developing in Western Australia, South Australia and New South Wales.
The ideal temperature range for the growth of snapper is between 20oC to 28oC. They need to be grown in water at least 12 metres deep with a good flow of sea water to maintain dissolved oxygen levels and flush away wastes.
Mature breeding stock are usually held in spawning tanks of around 10,000 L. About 20 days after hatching the larva, which are fed rotifers then brine shrimp, reach a body length of about 7mm. When they reach a length of about 3 -5cm, they are moved to net cages set up in the sea and they are feed artificial pellets. These pellets are high in protein (40%-50%). Growth rates of farmed snapper are much higher than those from the wild, in Japan they can reach a harvestable size of one kilogram within two and a half to three years.