About Freshwater King Salmon (backup)

Mt Cook Alpine Fresh Water King Salmon from New Zealand

Deep in the Southern Alps of New Zealand lies Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park. From its craggy alpine ridges flows the purest fresh water on the planet. Ice cold. Constantly flowing. Perfectly chilled for a much prized southern delicacy.

Cradled in the shadows of the Southern Alps is a network of waterways connecting Lakes Tekapo, Pukaki and Benmore. These lakes support New Zealand’s largest renewable hydro scheme, harnessing millions of gallons of free flowing, pure glacial water, rich in minerals.

In this unique landscape Mt Cook Alpine Salmon operates a hatchery, three farms and a nearby purpose built processing plant.

This inspiring habitat is home to our Freshwater King Salmon. Every minute more than 2 million gallons of water pass through our farms creating an ever changing, thriving environment for our fish. Born to swim, they cover the equivalent of a half marathon every day revelling in the swift flowing currents.

The Taste of Nature

Nature has provided the ingredients – the wilderness, the fast glacial flows, the cold fresh water – a perfect location for a special salmon that is lean, non-oily and with fine intra-muscular fat lines. From the first taste, the soft imprint of Nature promises to leave a delicate touch on the palate that always surprises.

Clean, Subtle, Delicate, Refreshing

Freshwater King Salmon offers the perfect response to those who find salmon traditionally oily. Yet its subtlety still delivers a perfect balance between Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. Salmon is 20% protein and contains vitamins A, D, E, a range of B vitamins, zinc, iron, copper, manganese, calcium phosphorus, potassium, antioxidants, sodium and selenium, all essential minerals for healthy living. Salmon is also lower in calories than beef, chicken and many other fish types. Health professionals recommend salmon for multiple reasons. It helps boost immune systems, is an excellent antioxidant and can assist in reducing blood pressure and the risk of heart disease. The big story of course is Omega-3, known to promote cognitive skills while also helping to reduce the risk of cancer. Nature’s own superfood.

Of course no one understands more about growing the finest King Salmon than Nature herself. But we leave it for others to judge. Time and again Mt Cook Alpine Salmon is preferred in blind taste tests conducted around the world. Not surprisingly it features on the menus of the most discerning restaurants.

Mt Cook Alpine Salmon is a global supplier of its Freshwater King Salmon. Our modern processing plant is regularly audited by the New Zealand Government’s exporting agency and retains the highest ranking accreditation. We may grow our fish in a wild, remote alpine region of New Zealand’s Southern Alps but our best in class practices and our duty of care to the environment, ensure our fish, wherever it is delivered in the world, will always meet the claim of being Nature’s finest tasting salmon.

FarmingBut Not As You Know It

In this stark wilderness there’s no rush to grow the perfect salmon. Nature takes the lead. We listen. Learn. That’s our purpose.

The Southern Alps of New Zealand

In the Mackenzie Basin, the night sky is pitch black from horizon to horizon. By day, Lake Tekapo and Lake Pukaki dazzle an implausible turquoise. The centrepiece is New Zealand’s highest peak, Aoraki/ Mount Cook. Out here Nature rules. This is our workplace.

It took a pioneering spirit to start a salmon farm in this remote location. The winters are freezing and the nearest city is hours away. But in twenty years we’ve learned a lot – how to harmonise with Nature, deal with the harsh conditions and the bitterness of the cold winters.

Hand Fed

We prefer to feed our fish by hand. It’s our chance to observe and respond to their needs through the growing cycle and the changing seasons.

Stress Free

We maintain low stocking densities to give our salmon maximum freedom to swim. It keeps them agile, lean and content. We also handle our fish as little as possible, grading them just once in their life cycle.

The Feed

Mt Cook Alpine Salmon feed specification delivers a balance of fish oil, fish meal and proteins. 

We only use premium feed from a trusted international supplier; all feed is sustainable and certified GM free. The proprietary natural feed is formulated to minimize the depletion of feeder fish in the ocean.

Mt Cook Alpine Salmon feed supplier:
Skretting Australia operates a dedicated aquaculture feed plant in Cambridge, Tasmania that meets global quality standards and product is manufactured in accordance with:
  • Full traceability - Nutrace®
  • ISO 9001 Quality Management System
  • HACCP certification
  • FeedSafeTM certification
  • Global G.A.P. CFM certification
The pink color of salmon flesh, wild or farmed, results from the retention of carotenoids in the fish flesh. Astaxanthin is a naturally occurring carotenoid and is the major carotenoid naturally found in wild salmon and crustaceans (prawn, lobsters) and is responsible for their pink-red pigmentation.
Astaxanthin is an essential nutrient for salmon; salmon require it to remain healthy and disease free. Astaxanthin supports good reproduction and skin health in salmon. Salmon cannot make their own astaxanthin, they consume it via their diet. Wild salmon consume krill, zooplankton, small fish and crustaceans - all of which naturally contain astaxanthin. Astaxanthin is approved for addition to the diet of farmed salmonids to meet the fish’s nutritional needs.

Fresh Mountain Water

The sheer isolation of this pristine place and our proximity to the Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park protects our fish from environmental contamination. They live in some of the cleanest water on the planet, constantly flowing and providing a sanctuary where antibiotics or disease are simply foreign. Nature would insist on it and so do we.

Others Agree

It’s easy to be insular. Mt Cook Alpine Salmon welcomes the scrutiny of others to review what we do, audit our processes and comment on our management practices.

Throughout our supply chain, documentation provides full traceability of each fish to its batch of hatchery eggs and their parentage. We were the first salmon farm in Australia and New Zealand to receive Best Aquaculture Practice certification by the Global Aquaculture Alliance. But we go further. Each year our farms are audited by the esteemed Swiss-based Institute for Marketecology to identify opportunities for continuous improvement. In 2015, Monterey Bay’s Seafood Watch awarded Mt Cook Alpine Salmon with a “Best Choice” green rating. In its written report our Freshwater King Salmon operation received the highest points ranking of any salmon farm in the world.

Truly Sustainable

Sustainability is embedded in our culture, extending from fish husbandry to our care for the environment in which we farm. Our proprietary natural feed is formulated to have minimal impact on the wild feeder fish in our oceans.

We’re always careful to feed to nutrition and not to maximum weight gain. It’s just good practice. But for us sustainability goes much further. It’s about adopting the highest work safety regimes, engaging positively with our local communities, building our social license, caring for our staff and exploring ways to redefine “best practice”. It’s a fitting response to Nature.