From humble beginnings come great things

Seafood is an iconic part of New Zealand life. Many Kiwi memories are built around not just the shared meals, but also the adventures involved in finding that meal. Whether it’s eeling in local rivers, fly fishing for trout, diving for scallops or digging for pipis, these experiences are a part of who we are today.

Salmon has its own special place in New Zealand’s seafood story. At Ora King we’re proud of our history in the Marlborough, Nelson and Tasman regions, where salmon farming in New Zealand was pioneered, and where it continues to flourish today.

Our country’s much sought after King salmon species is the legacy of a group of forward thinking settlers in New Zealand, led by Scotsman Lake Ayson. In the early 1900’s, after decades of trial and error, these pioneers secured a batch of fertilised King salmon eggs from a small northern Californian river called the McCloud. The eggs survived the long journey in tall ships and once released, were successfully hatched to become the first generation of our wild salmon still found in South Island rivers today.

Not only was this the beginning of our treasured fly fishing tradition, but these salmon also became the forefathers of our farmed salmon industry. New Zealand’s first commercial salmon farm was established in 1976 in Golden Bay and nearly forty years later, the “Top of the South” has become the favoured region for producing high quality King salmon.

Our heritage in Marlborough has made us what we are today: a proud custodian and producer of the highest quality salmon for the most discerning customers and chefs in New Zealand, and around the world.

This photo journal celebrates the early beginnings of our salmon industry in Marlborough, brought to life by the passionate chefs we work with. Experiencing excellent food in stunning locations is one of life’s great pleasures, and in our region, we are spoilt for choice.

Our upbringing and culture directly influence who we become and what we do. These stories and images also celebrate the collaboration between the producer and the chef to create unique food memories.

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