Salmon School – What type of salmon should I buy?

When it comes to choosing the right type of salmon, there are a few considerations to keep in mind. 

Firstly, there are various species of salmon, each with its own distinct qualities. One commonly encountered type is the Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar), which is typically imported and farmed in Tasmania. 

Wild-caught salmon 

There is another lesser-known yet equally delectable option—the wild-caught salmon, which is closely related to herring. Wild salmon differs significantly from the commonly found supermarket variety, as it thrives in natural environments like oceans, rivers, and lakes, feasting on a natural diet. It is worth noting that all salmon raised in Australia is farmed, prompting concerns about its environmental sustainability. Therefore, it is advisable to opt for salmon caught in the wild, as it offers a more authentic and ecologically balanced choice.

While transitioning away from our favourite farmed salmon may pose a challenge for many, allow me to provide you with some useful pointers:

1. Select wild-caught salmon sourced from coastal waters, as it tends to be rich in beneficial Omega-3 fatty acids. This type of salmon boasts a robust flavour and oily flesh. The colour of its flesh, initially dark pink, lightens when cooked, while maintaining its remarkable moisture. If you prefer a milder taste, you can remove the darker red flesh and bloodline. Imported Norwegian organic Atlantic salmon fillets, certified by the National Association for Sustainable Agriculture Australia (NASAA), are currently available in Australian supermarkets.

2. Due to its intense flavour and high oil content, wild-caught salmon is particularly well-suited for smoking or canning. It is important to note that the process of canning does not diminish the health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids in the fish.

3. To complement the strong flavours of wild salmon, consider incorporating robust accompaniments such as Mediterranean ingredients like tomatoes, olives, vinegars, pickled vegetables (such as capers and radishes), and a variety of herbs.

4. Wild-caught salmon can also be transformed into fish burgers or fish cakes. remarkable fish.

Byron Bay Cooking School – how to prepare salmon

What is the most ethical salmon in Australia?
King salmon farmed and imported from New Zealand is rated green, ‘Better Choice’ in the Guide. Atlantic salmon is a non-native species farmed by three major companies in Tasmanian waters. Farmed Atlantic salmon is the highest value and volume fishery product in Australia.

Huon  (brand) Salmon – from website

Veterinary Health and Biosecurity Plan (VHBP):
VHBP encompasses all areas of fish health and welfare. It aims to identify and define management and husbandry protocols and procedures throughout the lifecycle. The VHBP was developed with broad staff involvement and is regularly reviewed and updated to promote continuous improvement in all areas.

RSPCA Approved Farming Scheme

In 2018, Huon Aquaculture became the first salmon producer to join the RSPCA Approved Farming Scheme. This achievement came after meeting the RSPCA’s detailed animal welfare standard for farmed Atlantic salmon and undergoing a rigorous and continual assessment process. Now Huon is able to supply Australia’s only range of RSPCA Approved salmon, enabling consumers to choose seafood that has been grown to higher welfare standards. 

The RSPCA’s standard for farmed Atlantic salmon does not allow for the farming of salmon in Macquarie Harbour therefore, 98 per cent of Huon’s salmon is currently farmed to the standard.


Huon Aquaculture has a biosecurity plan that covers all aspects of fish farming and processing. This includes education and training, and implementing good fish husbandry through water quality management, health monitoring, vaccine use and ongoing research.

Stocking density: By giving our salmon plenty of room to move, they are able to behave and school naturally. We also have the lowest stocking density in the world at an average of 99.35 per cent water to 0.65 per cent fish.

Reducing stress

Reducing and eliminating stress on our salmon is a key focus at Huon and directly contributes to the overall welfare of our fish and the quality of our products.

Antibiotics: We believe that antibiotics should only be used as a last resort, which is why we practice a holistic approach to farming.


Vaccines are routinely used very effectively in livestock, pets and people to control a range of diseases caused by viruses and bacteria. As fish have a functional immune system that is similar to that in mammals, vaccines can be used in the same way to improve fish health and welfare outcomes.

Fish feed

Our fish feed needs to provide them enough energy to live and thrive and must also supply all the nutrients (proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals) to grow. We know exactly what our fish have been fed, which means that when you purchase Huon Salmon and Huon Ocean Trout you know it has received safe, sustainable, traceable feed.

Atlantic salmon farmed by Tassal rated red ‘Say no’

Issues raised include use of antibiotics, damage to marine environment, use of 4kg of wild fish to produce 1kg of farmed salmon, being called the “battery hens of the sea”. 

In addition, there is the colour story. We are sold a myth that farmed salmon is naturally pinky-orange, however a pigment called astaxanthin is added to achieve the glow. Astaxanthin is a synthetic nature-identical chemical (petro chemical) that mimics the naturally occurring colour of wild salmon and is also found in shrimp-like krill and other crustaceans that salmon in the wild would eat.

Some salmon farmers use the SalmoFanTM to grade their typically greyish flesh fish, just as you might do when choosing house paint, or even makeup, for that matter.

1.1 SalmoFanTM – the range of pigments companies can use to artificially colour.

On its website, Tassal assures readers that “whilst astaxanthin is synthesised it must be stressed that this is a pure version of what is eaten by wild salmon, this is why we refer to it as nature-identical. The vast majority of farmed salmon around the world are fed diets with nature-identical astaxanthin.” 

With these insights in mind, you can make an informed decision when selecting salmon that aligns with your commitment to wellness and sustainability. 




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