Maori Name: Hāmana
Latin Name: Oncorhynchus tshawytscha
King salmon are members of the Salmonidae family (trout, salmon). They were introduced to New Zealand early in the twentieth century.
Two related, non-native Salmonidae salmon species occur in New Zealand-sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) and Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar).
King salmon are found mainly in the gravel rivers on the east coast of the South Island.
Every salmon farm in NZ must operate in accordance with a resource consent that sets strict conditions determined and enforced by the local regional council. In effect, the consent is a licence that tightly controls, among other things, the amount of fish, feed and waste permitted. King salmon farmed in New Zealand eat a diet of specially blended pellets containing fishmeal, fish oil, plant and terrestrial animal proteins. The small amount of wild fish in their diet is sourced from the well-managed Peruvian anchovy fishery. The Quota Management System does not apply to King Salmon; it is instead governed by provisions within the Resource Management Act and the Aquaculture Act.
All King salmon sold in New Zealand or exported are farm-reared initially in fresh water ponds until they are pan sized (about 30 centimetres) and then in sea cages until they weigh about five kilograms. Fish are harvested year-round to suit the market. Hatcheries release millions of smolt into the rivers annually for recreational fishing stocks.
King salmon has a full flavour with a soft, delicate "melt in the mouth" texture. It is highly regarded for its taste and texture - the result of a premium breed of salmon which stores higher levels of natural oils.It is a versatile fish and works well using any cooking method. King Salmon is ready to serve when the flesh turns opaque. Salmon can be served rare and eaten raw. It cooks quickly and will flake easily when tested with a fork.
The Mackenzie Basin in the Southern Alps is home to a unique system of freshwater salmon farming, using the lakes and canals associated with the hydroelectric dams there. One of the farms, at 677 metres, is the highest salmon farm in the world.
King salmon is a good source of Vitamin D, Niacin (vitamin B3), VitaminB12, Vitamin E,Selenium and VitaminB6; and a source of Phosphorus, Potassium and Thiamin (vitamin B1).
Seafood is a highly nutritious food and is a great source of protein. Many species are low in saturated fat and a number of them are a good source of Omega3.