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The Ora King Experience

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Ora King Story

When aspiring to exceptional culinary standards, Ōra King salmon is the first and only choice for discerning chefs around the world.

The high oil content present in the Ōra King breed can be seen in the striking marbled fat lines within the bright orange flesh, instantly drawing comparison to Wagyu.

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Best of Breed

Our classical breeding programme has seen over 20 years of genetics expertise and sustainable husbandry practices create eight generations of King salmon. This has produced over 100 distinct King salmon families, chosen so that only the finest examples – with the most appealing taste, texture, colour and size – are carried forward to subsequent generations.

King salmon eggs destined to produce Ōra King are nurtured in the crystal clear waters flowing from Te Waikoropupu Springs at our hatchery in Takaka. With an average of 14,000 litres of fresh water bubbling to the surface of the springs every second, the waters of this region have been verified as some of the clearest in the world, an ideal beginning to the life cycle for Ōra King salmon.

Within their first year, the smolt are transported in specially designed tankers to the Marlborough Sounds, to mature in fast flowing sea waters, thus emulating the lifecycle of the wild King salmon.

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A Matter of Balance

Salmon farming in Marlborough has a tiny footprint. Our maximum consented surface hectares represent about 0.03% of the total surface area of the Marlborough Sounds – the equivalent of 17 hectares out of 61,034.

The pure and isolated waters of the Marlborough Sounds enable us to raise Ora King salmon in a natural and wholesome manner, with our sea farm pens being 98% water space to 2% salmon.

When the salmon reach an average size of 4kg they are ready to harvest. We are committed to humane harvesting techniques to ensure the process is as quick, effective and stress-free as possible. They are then transported to our Nelson facility for processing.


The Art of Preparation

Upon arrival at our processing facility, each salmon is carefully and thoroughly washed and graded, a critical step in achieving the best possible shelf life for whole Ōra King salmon.

A Master Grader, dedicated to Ōra King, reviews each salmon against specifications for shape and condition. An individually numbered gill tag is then attached to those salmon that make the Ōra King grade, providing traceability and evidence of our product’s authenticity.