Dear Teachers,

Marlborough is a unique place in which aquaculture, viticulture, tourism and aviation all play a major role in the economy. This education kit has been put together by The New Zealand King Salmon Company, in consultation with Marlborough teachers, to help you,
your students and their parents find out more about:

  • New Zealand’s unique King salmon
  • The role the salmon farming industry plays in Marlborough
  • The benefits of salmon as a high value health food
  • The career opportunities that exist within aquaculture.


How to use the resource

The activities at the front of the resource start at Level 1 and move through to Level 5 towards the back. Note that most activities span more than one level.

There is no set order in which activities need to be completed. Simply choose the activities suitable to your class. Activities can be done as a whole class, in groups or individually. Each task has links with The New Zealand Curriculum, with the major focus on Science (specifically the Nature of Science learning area) and Social Studies. Each activity is also linked to one or more of the Key Competencies.

Download the resource

Ed Resource front cover

Download Full Education Resource (PDF – 7MB)

Learning Links

Download the Learning Links for this school resource (PDF – 60KB)

Activity downloads

1. King salmon maths (Level 1)

2. Life cycle game (Level 1-2)

3. Wild King salmon colours (Level 1-2)

4. Colour in King salmon (Level 1-3)

5. Poetry (Level 1-3)

6. King salmon life cycle game (Level 1-4)

7. King salmon chatterbox (Level 1-4)

8. King salmon farming photos (Level 1-5)

9. Make a stuffed King salmon (Level 2-3)

10. Jobs (Level 2-3)

11. Drawing a King salmon (Level 2-4)

12. Grown here (Level 2-4)

13. King salmon farming word search (Level 2-4)

14. Enjoying King salmon (Level 2-5)

15. Farm to plate (Level 3-4)

16. King salmon brainbox (Level 3-4)

17. Conditions for King salmon farming (Level 3-5)

18. Consequences in farming King salmon (Level 3-5)

19. Design a net pen (Level 3-5)

20. Design an advert (Level 3-5)

21. Farmed vs wild King salmon (Level 3-5)

22. Food technology (Level 3-5)

23. Fun facts quiz (Level 3-5)

24. Careers in aquaculture (Level 4-5)

25. Physical features of King salmon (Level 4-5)

26. Hatchery to plate (Level 4-5)

The New Zealand King Salmon Company

The New Zealand King Salmon Company has its head office in Nelson and aquaculture office in Picton. The company grows salmon at farms in the Marlborough Sounds. Salmon is sold by The New Zealand Salmon Company in New Zealand and around the world under the Regal, Southern Ocean and Ora King brands.

Salmon farming in Marlborough

King salmon is a native of the northern Pacific Ocean and the largest of the Pacific King salmon family. Also called Chinook, it is the only salmon species farmed in New Zealand.

Heralded as the very best salmon in terms of taste, texture and nutritional profile, Marlborough’s King salmon is found in premium retail outlets and on the menus of fine-dining establishments around the world.

The New Zealand King Salmon Company is the world’s major supplier of King salmon, producing 50% of the world’s supply from just a few surface hectares in the Marlborough Sounds – at the top of New Zealand’s South Island.

Why King salmon is important

The New Zealand Government has identified aquaculture, or fish and seafood farming, as a prime candidate to help New Zealand prosper through innovation and the sustainable production of great quality food.

The Government has set a target for New Zealand aquaculture, including King salmon farming, to be a billion dollar industry by 2025. Not only is King salmon a healthy, high quality and high value export product, but King salmon farming in Marlborough also has an ‘economic
multiplier’ effect. This means it creates work and income for employees, as well as suppliers; including engineering firms, scientists, water taxis, transport companies, professional services and retail outlets.

Sustainable and efficient seafood

Aquaculture is one of the most sustainable and efficient ways possible to produce animal protein.

Salmon are highly efficient to farm because they are cold-blooded and virtually weightless in the water. They convert feed to weight extremely well.

King salmon farming in the Marlborough Sounds

King salmon farming in the Marlborough Sounds commenced in the early 1980s and has evolved over the years due to increased market demand; this in turn has driven the development of industry knowledge.

King salmon require cool, deep, clean water with strong currents. Working in harmony with the environment is not only essential to ensure we maintain our pristine environment, but also necessary to grow premium King salmon.

The farming process starts with eggs being collected and fertilised from adult broodstock, grown to smolt in freshwater and then transferred to the sea pens at the time and stage when they would normally migrate out to sea in the wild. They are fed on a specially formulated, balanced diet for up to 18 months and are then harvested at around 4kg.

We have a unique environment in New Zealand where we can aim to farm salmon in the most natural way possible.

Important facts:

  • The New Zealand Salmon Company has achieved the world-leading Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) certification from the Global Aquaculture Alliance. This independent certification recognises the company’s high environmental standards and efforts to maintain
    environmental integrity.
  • New Zealand marine-farmed King salmon has been rated “Green”, meaning it is a “Best Choice” for consumers by Monterey Bay Aquarium’s globally respected consumer guide Seafood Watch®. King salmon from New Zealand is the first and only ocean-farmed salmon to have achieved this rating.
  • Salmon feed contains all of the essential nutrients required for a healthy diet. The feed carries Certificates of Analysis from registered laboratories, it is certified GMO and BSE-free, and all ingredients fully traceable. The feed consists of fish meal (sourced from sustainable
    fisheries), fish oil, animal protein and oil, vegetable protein meals, wheat/starch, and vitamins and minerals including the natural antioxidant Astaxanthin.
  • 2% of the sea farm volume is occupied by King salmon and the other 98% is water.
  • Both the water quality and the seabed are monitored by independent science providers to ensure quality water standards are fully maintained at all times.
  • Left fallow, a King salmon farm can regenerate in as little as two years for a high-flow site up to 10 years for a low-flow site. Sustainable and efficient seafood.


> Download the learning links for this school resource (60KB)

> Download the full Marlborough Salmon Farming School Resource 2016 (7MB)

A variety of easy to use activities

A variety of easy-to-use activities at Levels 1-5 (Years 1-10) have been developed for you to use in the classroom with your students. Information, support material and answers are also provided. Some activities are suitable at more than one level so have been included in more than one section. Activities can also be used from other sections based on the ability and knowledge of your students.