Get in Touch

We’re here to answer your questions, however you want to ask them.

FAQ

How are salmon selected for the breeding programme?

Each year, stock for breeding is barcode tagged, assessed for weight and condition, and a DNA sample is sent away for analysis. The sister harvest fish are also assessed for their fat content and fillet colour. These results are used to determine the best matches between the families to obtain a premium balance between growth and quality.

When does the broodstock spawning take place?

From December to June, the female salmon are hand sorted to assess the perfect time to remove the eggs. They are then fertilised and incubated on trays. This process can run through to July enabling a year-round supply.

What time of year are the eggs hatched?

Eggs are hatched between February and August, with the first smolt going to sea in September, while the remainder are sent out to the farms over the course of the year. When they are hatched they are known as Alevin.

How soon does feeding commence?

The first feeding commences a month after hatching. The smolt are fed by hand and as they grow this becomes automated. It is at this stage that they change to a silver colour, eyes change to yellow and the mouth and fins turn opaque.

At which stage are the smolt graded?

Throughout the feeding process the smolt are methodically assessed. They all undergo quality and size grades prior to transfer and have a special diet to help them adapt to sea conditions.

When are the smolt normally transferred to the farms?

We transfer smolt throughout the year, starting in early September and not finishing until winter the following year – this allows us to produce salmon year-round.

Are the farms harvested all year?

We harvest all year round, switching between farms depending where the largest fish are at any one time.

How are the salmon monitored and evaluated on the farms?

The salmon are assessed regularly throughout their life in the sea. The most common way is by using a stereo video camera system that allows us to estimate their size and look at the population from a health perspective.

What systems are in place to prevent other wildlife getting into the farms?

We take the safety of wildlife very seriously and work hard to protect them. Our farms are surrounded by a predator mesh to prevent other animals entering the farms. More information on the wildlife around our farms can be found here.

How are the nets kept clean?

We either water blast the biofouling from the next by lifting the nets clear of the water or conduct the cleaning process in the water using automated net cleaners that ‘drive’ along the net keeping it clean. We clean our grower nets every 7-10 days. No anti-foul products are used on the fish or predator nets.

How many team members work on the farm?

We have teams of between 5 and 10 members that work at each of our farms. This include shift workers who live out on the farms 7 days on/7 days off, plus others who are commuted out daily by boat.

Are the farm structures permanent?

Sustainability is achieved through avoiding permanent and irreversible changes to the natural marine environment so all structures are easily moveable.

How does salmon farming affect the seabed?

We follow environmental best practices including monitoring the output from our farms, fallowing between harvests and having high flow sites which help to minimise impact on the seabed. In addition, the seabed under our farms is audited annually by an independent science provider and the results are reported to the local council to ensure the environmental conditions remain within the agreed range.

What life is there underneath the sea farms?

There is abundant life on the seabed underneath our farms, a positive sign of biodiversity. We often find mussels, starfish, blue cod, seahorses and other species flourishing under our farms. You can find more information and see a video of life under our farms here.

What is the feed made up of?

Our feed is specially formulated to provide enough energy for our salmon to thrive whilst also supplying all the essential nutrients for healthy growth. The formulation of our feed changes to meet the dietary requirements of our King salmon throughout their lifecycle. Further details on what goes into the feed can be found here.

Are the salmon fed antibiotics?

We don’t use any antibiotics, anti-parasitics or hormones. We farm in an isolated environment in as natural a way as possible. King salmon in New Zealand are free from the harmful sea lice and pathogens that can affect salmon from other parts of the world.

How often are the salmon fed per day and how does this change as they grow?

The number of times the salmon are fed per day depends on their age. When they first arrive in the farm, they are fed throughout the day and the number of meals will reduce as the fish get older and larger.

How does the automatic feeding process work?

Feed is delivered to each sea pen by dedicated feeding equipment which accurately estimates the amount of feed given to the fish. The feed is usually blown to the pen using an air blower and roto spreader that disperses the feed in the pen. There are cameras in all pens around 5 metres deep and farm staff continually monitor the feeding operations ensuring fish are fed appropriately and that no feed is wasted or lost. All feed information is then entered into dedicated software packages that allow us to analyse feeding patterns over both short and longer timeframes.

What gives salmon their colour?

This is thanks to a powerful antioxidant called astaxanthin, an essential micronutrient for salmon. It’s so important to salmon that they’ve evolved the capacity to store it in their muscle tissue and this is what contributes to their vibrant hue. If white fish were to eat astaxanthin they would not change colour. More information on astaxanthin can be found here.

Are your farms audited?

Yes, we regularly undergo a number of independent audits to verify our practices. We have chosen third-party certifications as we believe they are vital to ensuring our industry operates responsibly and to the highest standards possible. That is why we have committed to achieving some of the most stringent and widely-respected standards in aquaculture.

What certifications do you hold?

A full list of our certifications and recommendations can be found here.

What are you doing to reduce the amount of plastic in your packaging?

As a partner in the New Zealand Plastics Packaging Declaration, we are committed to addressing the ultimate goal of using 100% reusable, recyclable or compostable packaging across our business by 2025. We have also joined 10 leading New Zealand retail businesses to support a local study by the Sustainable Business Network’s Circular Economy Accelerator (CEA) to develop long-term viable solutions and alternatives to plastic packaging.

How is climate change affecting your operations?

Climate change is one of the significant challenges for our world, and every organisation or individual has some level of carbon footprint to acknowledge. Farmed fish is considered a climate friendly protein source compared to other animal proteins. Salmon is an important solution to providing the world with vitally important proteins while having a lower impact on the environment. You can find more about how we are addressing climate in our Annual Report here.

What are your plans for the future?

Our vision is to pursue international best practice salmon farming in order to deliver a sustainable food solution for the future. Our two key strategic initiatives to achieve this are open ocean farming and farm relocation. You can find more on this here.

What is Blue Endeavour?

Blue Endeavour is the name of our first proposed open ocean farm, located 7kms north of Cape Lambert, Marlborough. The application for consent is under consideration by the Marlborough District Council and we’re expecting a result for our application in early 2021. If approved, Blue Endeavour will create 300 jobs with an associated revenue of $200 million.

Where can I buy your salmon?

Which markets do you export to?

We have a well-established domestic market share along with a successful history in offshore markets. Currently, 46% of our King salmon is enjoyed in New Zealand with the remainder exported to more than 15 countries around the world. More information is available here.

Get in Touch

We love talking to people. So, if you have any questions or you would like to find out more about our approach to sustainable salmon farming, please get in touch using the contact form below.

Phone:

03 548 5714

Fax:

03 538 0874

Email:

contact@kingsalmon.co.nz 

Head Office Physical Address:

93 Beatty Street
Tahunanui
Nelson 7011
New Zealand

Nelson Processing Physical Address:

10-18 Bullen Street
Tahunanui
Nelson 7011

Picton Aquaculture Office Address:

43 Dublin Street
Picton 7220

Postal Address:

P O Box 1180
Nelson 7040
New Zealand

Auckland Office Address:

6 Mitchelson Street
Ellerslie
Auckland 1051

Please note that visits to our offices, factories or farms must be pre-arranged. Unfortunately we do not have products available to purchase at any of our locations, please visit your supermarket or local retailer.