Uncovering the Facts about Atlantic Farmed Salmon


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Australians consume more salmon than any other fish on the market. If the delicious taste isn’t reason enough, the salmon’s health benefits are. Salmon is a source of high quality protein, Omega 3 fatty acids and Vitamin D. However, consumers tend to have certain questions about farmed salmon – we’re here to clarify all you need to know.


How does salmon get it’s colour?

Atlantic salmon would actually be white if it wasn’t for the carotenoid called astaxanthin. Astaxanthin is a powerful antioxidant with health benefits for both fish and humans. Additionally, it provides an orange pigment that creates the signature salmon colour. Astaxanthin is derived from algae and gets gobbled up by krill, crabs and shrimp. Wild salmon eat these foods and ingest the astaxanthin, gaining their red/orange hue. When salmon is farmed, the same natural carotenoid is taken out of the algae and supplemented in the fish food. This ensures the highest quality salmon nutrition and health benefits for both the fish and the consumers.  

Fun fact – Flamingoes get their colour from the same carotenoid (astaxanthin) as salmon!


Is farmed salmon injected with antibiotics?

At Manettas Seafood Market, our salmon is sourced from Huon Aquaculture. Huon salmon is 100% grown and harvested on salmon farms in Tasmania. Huon employs full time vets to ensure the health of their salmon. Fish, like any animal, can get sick from time to time. If the vet requires antibiotics for any reason, the government strictly regulates the the treatment of the fish. Regulations ensure the antibiotics be passed through the fish long before they’re harvested.

Fun fact – Only 1 of the 51 Huon salmon pens were treated with any antibiotic last year.


Are farmed salmon pens overcrowded?

Huon aquaculture has the lowest stocking density in the world – they currently contain only 1% salmon and 99% water. Having this space gives the salmon plenty of room to move around and also helps them behave naturally. Healthier, better quality Tasmanian salmon are the result. Fish are provided with the maximum level of oxygen and a healthy, clean environment in which they can thrive.

Fun fact – Huon’s new pen design won a WorkSafe Tasmania Award for the occupational health and safety outcomes it helps achieve.


What do they feed farmed salmon?

Huon developed an ongoing research program dedicated to Australian salmon feed. Research determines how to continuously improve salmon feeds to ensure a balanced, healthy diet. Salmon feed supplies all the proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals the salmon needs to live and thrive. Although the feed is continuously changing and improving, the main ingredients include: fish meal, fish oil, vegetable derivatives, vitamins, minerals and astaxanthin.

Fun fact – Huon does NOT feed their salmon any kind of growth hormone or growth promoter.


Want to learn how to cook salmon? View our Salmon Fillets or click here for the best Salmon Recipes


Written by Emily Nagy


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