chef-matt-lambert-nyc-musket-roomIn the late 1800’s Chinook salmon, also known as King Salmon, were brought to New Zealand from the McCloud River in California.  New Zealand’s rivers lacked a large freshwater species of fish that could be used as a food source.  The King Salmon, along with trout, were introduced in the late 1800’s and firmly established in the wild by the early 1900’s to some of the most beautiful rivers in the world.  The Chinook has been given another name in New Zealand called Quinnat, and is the largest freshwater fish in the country.  Wild spawning runs of Quinnat, although not native, are welcomed and prized in New Zealand for their sport and healthy source of protein.

Farmed King Salmon in New Zealand has been qualified by Monterey Bay Seafood Watch as the Best Choice for farmed salmon.  This best-choiceis the ONLY saltwater farmed salmon given the best choice ranking.  There are a variety of reasons that Ora King Salmon should be your #1 choice in farm raised salmon: Healthy Feed and Fish Growth, Location and Farming Technique, as well as a Unique skin that is uncommon to anywhere else in the world.

chef-jason-alford-chicago-roka-akorSalmon is one of the best options for a healthy diet.  Ora King Salmon are fed a GMO free diet consisting of 10% fish meal from sources approved by the World Wildlife Fund.  It is important that the aquaculture industry is aware and supporting sources of fish protein that are healthy for humans and healthy for our oceans.  Ora King Salmon are fed a strict diet to maximize their growth rate with the proteins they consume.  For every 1 kilogram of fish protein raised on the farm, there is 1 kilogram of marine protein coming from the ocean.  This is called a fish in, fish out ratio and is a standard measurement in aquaculture.  A 1:1 ratio is exceptional within in the industry and is the benchmark of fish farming success.

chef-shinichi-maeda-sake-bisbane-australiaTe Waikoropupu Springs is where Ora King Salmon start their life’s journey.  The cold fresh water spring supplies the crystal clear water that raises Ora King from egg to smolt.   After a year they are moved into the Marlborough Sounds, a deep saltwater bay between the North and South Islands of New Zealand.  This area has fast flowing seas that keep fish swimming and disperses waste to create big strong healthy fish averaging 5-6kg.  When they are ready for harvest these fish will travel the world to Chef’s plates in Paris, USA, Japan, and Australia to be recognized by Chefs around the world as the best farmed salmon on this planet.

Ora King Salmon recommends not scaling the fish before eating. In New Zealand, sea lice does not existent. So, the salmon do not need to have thick scales or thick skin to protect themselves from being attacked.  This is great for healthy fish  as well as a healthy aquatic environment to raise fish.  Being  skinned So, next time you order Ora King Salmon, try it with the scales ON, and see for yourself what makes this fish the best in the world!

Watch this 4 minute video to learn more about Ora King Salmon

Chad Pettrone
Sustainability Director
Northeast Seafood