World Oceans Day (8 June) is a day to remember the importance of the ocean for our planet’s survival. It’s a source that feeds us and it’s essential to look after it sustainably. We spoke with Anne-Marie Friis of Ōra King Salmon about how they sustainably source their salmon, and how they’re promoting sustainability through their work and their annual Ōra King Awards.
Words Lara Wyatt
Sustainability is pivotal to Ōra King Salmon. It’s the backbone to the survival of their business, and it’s vital in ensuring we’re preserving the environment for future generations. For these reasons, carrying out sustainable and environmentally friendly practices is at the forefront of their minds when producing their salmon.
“King salmon is a special and very rare species of salmon, making up less than one per cent of the world’s salmon supply. They’re also notoriously fickle; they can only be grown in the cleanest water. This makes the ongoing health of our oceans critical to the ongoing health of our company,” Marketing Manager Foodservice Anne-Marie Friis explains.
The crystal clean waters flowing from Te Waikoropupu Springs, near Takaka, is where the Ōra King salmon journey begins. The eggs are nurtured here, and, prior to hatching, the fertilised eggs head to their hatchery in Tenburn. It’s here that the baby salmon are hatched and reared in a constant stream of fresh spring water. Within their first year they head to the Marlborough Sounds to mature in fast-flowing sea waters. This process emulates the lifecycle of wild King salmon.
“Aquaculture is one of the most sustainable ways possible to produce animal protein. As they are cold blooded and virtually weightless in the water, salmon are highly efficient at converting feed to protein,” explains Friis.
With ocean food being a high-nutrition and low-impact way to meet the protein needs of New Zealand, and the world, pushing sustainability of our oceans and the practices that utilise it is essential. Another way that Ōra King Salmon is promoting sustainability is through this year’s awards.
Seven years ago the Ōra King Awards were developed to foster creativity and innovation among chefs who use Ōra King salmon. The awards are open to chefs in New Zealand, Australia, North America and Japan who feature Ōra King on their restaurant menu. The 2019 awards’ theme is Sustain.
“It recognises the journey that we are all on to live more sustainably. We are asking chefs to reflect upon their own sustainability story, share this with us and create an Ōra King dish that symbolises this,” says Friis.
As part of the awards’ launch in Auckland, Ōra King Salmon talked with Shaun Clouston, Executive Chef at Logan Brown. He features in a video discussing his use of Ōra King Salmon, and he talks about the importance of understanding your ingredients and where they come from. Take a look at the video to see how he uses Ōra King Salmon in his dishes.
Chefs interested in entering the 2019 Ōra King Awards need to submit an image, description and explanation of the inspiration behind their dish in regards to the Sustain theme. Find more information, and enter online, at orakingsalmon.co.nz