Seafood Watch gives green rating to NZ farmed king salmon

By

James Wright, Senior Editor

Published on
February 17, 2015

Farmed king salmon (chinook, Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) from New Zealand have been recognized as a best choice for consumers, according to the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program.

Following a year-long assessment, Seafood Watch rated the product as green, making it the first ocean-raised farmed salmon to achieve the rating. New Zealand King Salmon Company’s Ōra King salmon accounts for roughly 65 percent of the nation's farmed chinook production and 62 percent of the global chinook salmon production.

New Zealand King Salmon (NZKS) CEO Grant Rosewarne said that the rating is a strong endorsement of the company’s credentials, adding that aquaculture helps to relieve pressure on global fish stocks.

“We have been highlighting for some time that our industry equals sustainable jobs and healthy, mindful eating and the report supports what Kiwi salmon farmers have long maintained,” said Rosewarne, who added that Ōra King salmon is to salmon what Wagyu is to beef.

The product first hit the U.S. market in 2012. Production by Mount Cook Alpine Salmon Ltd. accounts for approximately 10 percent of the chinook production in New Zealand, while Sanford, Akaroa Salmon, Benmore Salmon and High Country Salmon make up the remainder. The Seafood Watch report can be found here.

“The Seafood Watch ‘Best Choice’ rating confirms something I’ve believed since my first visit to the [NZKS] farm,” said Chef Matt Lambert of the Michelin-starred Musket Room restaurant in New York City. “When a product comes from such a pristine environment, and is treated with the utmost respect, the end result will always be fantastic. Ōra King salmon is that kind of product. It makes my job easier and more enjoyable.”

Want seafood news sent to your inbox?