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King Salmon, Oncorhynchus tshawytscha, is a native of the northern Pacific Ocean, and was brought to New Zealand in the late 1800s. King Salmon is now the only species of salmon farmed in New Zealand, with the main fisheries found in Marlborough, Canterbury and Southland.
Inititally raised in fresh water ponds, young fish are transferred to sea cages to mature. Salmon are typically harvested at weights of between 3.5 kg and 4 kg after 18-31 months at sea Fish are harvested year round, with about 14,000 tonnes harvested each year. A third of this is exported, with a value of $51 million.