With the ever-increasing problems of growing Atlantic salmon in the open ocean, many companies in Chile are turning to growing coho salmon instead of Atlantics. Coho salmon are very resistant to sea lice infestations and Infectious Salmon Anemia (ISA), both of which kill tens of millions of Atlantic salmon each year. Coho salmon grow faster than Atlantics and require less time in the ocean to grow to a harvestable size. Once the coho smolts are placed in net pens in the ocean, they require only a 12-month grow-out period compared to an 18-month grow-out period for Atlantics.
In terms of appearance, Coho salmon have a deeper red color
than the traditional orange-ish Atlantic salmon fillets. As for taste, the fat content is similar to that of Atlantic salmon, and the flavor is, at the very least, equal to Atlantic salmon.
The Japanese market, known for true seafood connoisseurs, is where most of the Cohos are currently sold. “Shiozake” is the traditional coho salmon dish in Japan, and interestingly, it is eaten for breakfast! However, as production increases this year (from 100 metric tons to 250 metric tons), more and more coho salmon will be available in the US.
Historically, coho salmon sells for about a 15% discount compared to Atlantic salmon. Let us know if you would like to try some. The harvest season for fresh coho salmon begins in August each year and ends in February. Frozen coho salmon is available year-round, and eventually, fresh coho will also be harvested year-round.