Fish lovers and buyers beware… Not all salmon sold in New Zealand is created equal says a top local producer.
There’s the Kiwi brand Regal Salmon. And then there’s Atlantic Salmon from the nation where fish is pronounced feesh!
Washed by pristine Pacific Ocean waters and blessed with a disease-free environment, the Regal King Salmon farms in the Marlborough Sounds breed premium salmon products.
Regal King Salmon is produced by NZ King Salmon and unlike that of competitors, the company’s salmon live a right royal existence. And that has seen New Zealanders enjoy superior taste, colour and texture in a fish that has more than twice the Omega 3s of Atlantic Salmon.
NZ King Salmon has been farming King salmon in the pristine waters of the Marlborough Sounds for almost 20 years. The company is the biggest farmer of King salmon in the world. King salmon is the species that New Zealanders know and trust and world-wide it’s generally acknowledged as the premium salmon species.
However, Atlantic Salmon produced in Australia is now appearing on Kiwi supermarket shelves and because it’s not labelled as imported it appears many New Zealanders are none the wiser.
“While the two may look similar in the supermarket cooler, later, on the plate at home, the taste test can be disappointing for those who have opted for Atlantic salmon,” says Regal Salmon CEO Grant Rosewarne.
Pacific King Salmon – a breed apart from the Atlantic Salmon farmed across the ditch – are prized for their taste, firm texture, naturally-high in Omega 3 oil content and vibrant rich orange / red colour. While our remote geographic location can be a handbrake for many industries, for aquaculture it is a blessing with food producers utilising our country’s seclusion as a natural barrier against imported diseases.
This, coupled with the global flight to food from a trusted source, represents a big advantage for Regal. Its monitored, managed and sustainable food chain enables the company to trace every move in its fish production line – from smolt to seafood counter. That’s far from the case with the Atlantic salmon sold here. Only a few know it is imported.
In this country, Regal salmon is proudly stamped Made in New Zealand. Regal Salmon also thinks you’re entitled to know which salmon has double the Omega 3s compared to the one next to it in the supermarket. Omega 3s are the healthy oils that are vital for life and good health and can help to maintain a healthy heart. Because NZ King salmon is rich in Omega 3s, it receives the Heart Foundation tick.
Chefs on both sides of the Tasman and around the world trust the king of salmons for its truly delicate flavour. Noted Sydney chef Warren Turnbull from Assiette restaurant swears by Regal as his salmon of choice. “I put salmon to one side as an ingredient on my menu for a long time as I was haunted by memories of either incredibly dry or incredibly oily salmon. That was before I was introduced to (Regal) Marlborough King Salmon; I was blown away by the quality. I have never seen such beautifully firm, healthy, deeply pink salmon and the texture and taste is unbelievable – it just melts in your mouth.
“Regal recently invited me to visit New Zealand to experience their salmon farming first hand. I was stunned by the attention to detail and the respect that’s given to the breeding process and living conditions of these fish. I am incredibly proud that such a professional quality product comes from my homeland.”
Grant Rosewarne says New Zealanders need to know they are being sold imported salmon. “On our farms we can demonstrate ethical and sustainable farming practices right down the food chain. We can prove our water is fresh and free from pollutants. We have confidence in our farming conditions.
“It is of concern that lower quality salmon is available in our supermarkets with little or no acknowledgement that the fish are imported and of a different and less appealing species,” Mr Rosewarne says.