6 Types of Salmon Found in the Pacific Ocean
A member of the Salmonidae family, the salmon fish mostly come from the Pacific and North Atlantic ocean tributaries. Trout, whitefish, and char are the other fish that belong to the Salmonidae family. Salmons are anadromous fish, which means that they migrate to the oceans after hatching in the freshwater. They then return to freshwater for the purpose of reproduction.
The term ‘salmon’ comes from the Latin word ‘salmo’ which means ‘to leap’. Salmons have eight fins. Some of them are arranged on each side of their bodies in pairs. The pelvic fins are located on the belly while the pectoral fins are below the shoulder.
Their respiratory process happen through the gills. They have strong muscles and swim bladders, which help them maintain their buoyancy. The Atlantic salmons are well-known for their power and speed.
The discovery of salmon took place about 5,000 years back. It has been of great significance in the livelihood and culture of the people living in the coastal areas. They not only relied on salmon for their food but also for some spiritual guidance. The coastal dwellers often made good use of the entire fish.
They used the waste as well, creating certain items out of it. Its bladder was turned into glue and toys were made from its bones. The skin of salmon was useful for making shoes and clothes. The indigenous tribes residing on the coast of the Pacific held the first salmon ceremony.
There are six types of salmon in the Pacific Ocean:
1. Salmo Salar
The Salmo Salar is popular as the Atlantic Salmon. Most of the Atlantic salmons that are commercially available are farmed. The farmed salmon have earned a bad reputation with regards to sustainability.
2. Chinook Salmon
Also known as King Salmon, they’re the ones with the best taste. The color of their flesh ranges from white to deep red. Chinook Salmon are also popular owing to their high fat content.
3. Red Salmon
They’re also known as Sockeye Salmon. Red salmons have a rich flavor and bright red-orange flesh. They turn deep red when they move upstream from the ocean to spawn. Owing to their dark flesh color, many call them ‘reds’.
4. Coho Salmon
Owing to their silver-colored skin, they’re known as Silver Salmon or Silvers. Their flesh is bright red in color with a delicate texture.
5. Pink Salmon
The most common among the salmons found in the Pacific, the pink salmon is also called Humpback Salmon. They’re quite popular for their light-colored flesh and low-fat content. The flesh of pink salmon has a good flavor. Their distinctive hump on the back is the reason why they got the name humpback salmons or ‘humpies’.
This hump develops on their backs only when they spawn. Pink salmon are available in fresh, smoked, or frozen forms, but they’re often stored in cans.
6. Silverbrite Salmon
Popularly known as ‘chum’, this type of salmon also has the names Dog Salmon and Keta Salmon. The term ‘dog salmon’ comes from its dog-like teeth. In order to get away from the negative association of the word ‘chum’, the term ‘keta salmon’ is appropriate.
Keta is a smaller fish with an average weight of about 8 pounds. The color of its flesh ranges from pale to medium-color. When compared to the other varieties of salmon, the keta salmon has a lower fat content.