About Santa Cruz Fish King Salmon
Freshwater King Salmon from New Zealand
In the remote high altitude environment of New Zealand's 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 and is the home to our King Salmon.
Every minute more than 2 million gallons of fresh glacial water pass through the Mt Cook Alpine Salmon (MCAS) farms creating an ever changing, thriving environment for the salmon. Born to swim, they cover the equivalent of a half marathon every day in the swift flowing currents where they grow and thrive.
These fast flows, highly oxygenated water and the distinctive touch of the seasons are all key ingredients in creating nature's finest tasting salmon.
Why our King Salmon is unique
✅ Sushi Grade
✅ Ready to cook or serve (no prep required)
✅ Free from scales and pin bones (removed by hand)
✅ Clean, subtle flavor and lean texture
✅ Rich in healthy Omega-3
✅ Free from antibiotics, hormones, vaccines and pesticides
✅ No heavy metals
✅ Raised in the pure, cold, swift, glacial water (freshwater)
✅ Sustainably farmed and hand fed with sustainable, certified GMO-free
✅ Awarded "Best Choice" in sustainability by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch. In its written report MCAS received the highest points ranking of any salmon farm in the world.
✅ MCAS is the first salmon farm in Australasia to receive Best Aquaculture Practice Certification
The Remove Alpine Environment
- Remove alpine environment with minimal human intervention.
- The MCAS farms are located within a network of continuously flowing waterways, which connect three alpine lakes. These lakes support New Zealand’s largest renewable hydro scheme.
- Freshwater King Salmon thrive in the pure, cold, glacial water that flows from these mountains directly through these farms.
- King Salmon (Chinook) were introduced into local rivers from the Sacramento River 100 years ago. The fish Mt Cook farms today are direct descendants of this original North American stock.
- The Salmon are rich in healthy Omega-3, have a clean, subtle taste and delicate texture.
- Naturally healthy. Free from growth hormones, vaccines, pesticides or antibiotics.
- The freshwater so pure you can drink it, both above and below the farm.
- Roughly 2 million gallons (7.5 million liters) of this pure glacier fed water passes through the farms every minute, creating an ever-changing, refreshed environment for the Freshwater King Salmon.
- Swimming against ice-cold, constantly flowing currents, keeps the salmon healthy and lean, with fine intra-muscular fat lines.
- The fish are raised under environmentally sustainable farming practices across three farms.
- Not only are the salmon cared for 24/7 at the farms, MCAS also their our own hatchery and processing plant. This vertically integrated business model, means they actively manages each step ensuring the final product is the best it can be.
- MCAS feed specification delivers a balance of fish oil, fish meal and proteins.
- Only premium feed from a trusted international supplier is used; all feed is sustainable and certified GM free. The proprietary natural feed is formulated to minimize the depletion of feeder fish in the ocean.
- MCAS prefers to feed the fish by hand. It’s a chance to observe and respond to their needs and helps ensure they are fed to correct nutritional levels.
Stress Free Environment
- The fish are handled as little as possible - grading them just once in their lifecycle.
- This, combined with skilled staff and good farming practices mean the salmon are not stressed.
Top Ratings for Responsible Practices
- MCAS was the first salmon farm in Australasia to receive Best Aquaculture Practice Certification by the Global Aquaculture Alliance.
- In 2015, Monterey Bay Aquarium has awarded MCAS with a ‘Best Choice’ green rating – acknowledgement of their environmentally responsible practices. In its written report MCAS's Freshwater King Salmon operation received the highest points ranking of any salmon farm in the world.
- Each year our farms are audited by the esteemed Swiss-based Institute for Marketecology to identify opportunities for continuous improvement.
- Sustainability is embedded in the MCAS culture, extending from fish husbandry to their care for the environment in which they farm. MCAS's proprietary natural feed is formulated to have minimal impact on the wild feeder fish in our oceans.
- MCAS is 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 their staff and exploring ways to redefine “best practice”. It’s a fitting response to Nature.
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 MCAS is preferred in blind taste tests conducted around the world. Not surprisingly it features on the menus of the most discerning restaurants.
MCAS's processing plant is regularly audited by the New Zealand Government’s exporting agency and retains the highest ranking accreditation. MCAS may grow their fish in a wild, remote alpine region of New Zealand’s Southern Alps but their best in class practices and duty of care to the environment, ensure the fish, wherever it is delivered in the world, will always meet the claim of being Nature’s finest tasting salmon.
- To learn more about Mt Cook Alpine Salmon visit alpinesalmon.co.nz
- To learn more about Sustainable Seafood visit seafoodwatch.org
- To learn more about Best Aquaculture Practices and BAP-Certified Aquaculture Producers visit bapcertification.org
- To learn more about Fishwise visit fishwise.org