Salmon farming in New Zealand is one of the most sustainable ways of producing animal protein.
Worldwide demand for seafood is increasing and aquaculture is a highly efficient use of the marine environment. As they are cold blooded and virtually weightless in the water, salmon are highly efficient at converting feed into protein.
As a company, we firmly believe that it falls to us to preserve the environment for future generations. Our focus is on the sustainable production of salmon that addresses the growing demand for marine protein without compromising the health of the planet, our salmon or consumers.
The New Zealand Environment
We have worked with local council, government, key stakeholders and experts to develop Best Practice Guidelines for salmon farming in the Marlborough Sounds. We monitor regularly to ensure we meet these standards.
As New Zealand has no indigenous salmon, the introduction of King salmon has posed no threat to any wild populations.
Condition at Farms
Our feed contains ingredients based on the nutritional requirements of wild salmon. Our salmon are fed a nutritionally balanced diet, formulated by feed experts. The feed comes from sustainable, certified GMO-free suppliers and contains everything the salmon need to thrive and grow, and nothing else.
We use a balanced extruded diet. Each formulation is made to best suit a particular life stage of the salmon. The main change in formulation through the life of the salmon is the ratio of oil to protein. As a salmon grows it requires less protein and more oil.
A commonly misunderstood part of a salmon’s diet is the antioxidant astaxanthin. Astaxanthin is found naturally in algae and krill and is an essential micronutrient for salmon. It is so important to the salmon that they have evolved the capacity to store it in their muscle tissue, giving salmon their familiar reddish-orange colour.
Salmon use it to protect their precious Omega-3 oils and ultimately it protects their eggs. Because it is such a powerful and effective antioxidant, astaxanthin is frequently used as a dietary supplement for humans.
The New Zealand King Salmon Co. Ltd has achieved the world-leading Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) certification from The Global Aquaculture Alliance.
This independent certification supports the company’s ongoing and substantial efforts to maintain its environmental integrity
Monterey Bay Aquarium’s globally respected consumer guide Seafood Watch® has rated New Zealand’s marine-farmed salmon, including Ōra King salmon, as “Green”, meaning it is a “Best Choice” for consumers. New Zealand King salmon is the first and only ocean-farmed salmon to have achieved the Green/Best Choice rating from Seafood Watch.
In addition, King salmon from New Zealand has recently been rated 'Recommended' by Ocean Wise. Ocean Wise are a Vancouver Aquarium conservation programme aimed at educating and empowering consumers about the issues surrounding sustainable seafood.
These ratings are a strong endorsement of the sustainability credentials of the New Zealand King salmon industry.
Fish in, fish out
The marine protein in our feed comes from scientifically managed sustainable fisheries. Our feed conversion ratio is around 1.7x compared to land protein which can be up to 9x.
The New Zealand King Salmon Company has a traditional, classic selective breeding programme where the broodstock (breeding fish) with the best traits (size, colour, oil content) are chosen for reproduction. Over one hundred distinct salmon families are maintained, and there are currently over 200,000 records for individual fish stretching back to the first generation in 1997. NZKS does not genetically modify its fish.
Furthermore, prior to dispatch, an individually numbered Ora King gill tag is attached to each fish to allow for authenticity of origin and full traceability for customers.