Binomial name: Salmo salar
Species: S. salar
Common Names: Atlantic salmon
Other names: Bay salmon, Black salmon, Caplin-scull salmon, Fiddler, Sebago salmon, Silver salmon, outside salmon and winnish. At different points in their maturation and life cycle, they are known as Parr, Smolt, Grilse, Grilt, Kelt, Slink, and Spring salmon.
The natural breeding grounds of Atlantic salmon are rivers in Europe and the northeastern coast of North America. In Europe, Atlantic salmon are still found as far south as Spain, and as far north as Russia. Because of sport-fishing, some of the species’ southern populations in northern Spain are growing smaller. The species distribution is easily influenced by changes in freshwater habitat and climate. Atlantic salmon are a cold-water fish species and are particularly sensitive to changes in water temperature.
Atlantic salmon are the largest species in their genus, Salmo. After two years at sea, the fish average 71 to 76 cm (28 to 30 in) in length and 3.6 to 5.4 kg (7.9 to 11.9 lb) in weight. But specimens that spend four or more winters feeding at sea can be much larger. An Atlantic salmon netted in 1960 in Scotland, in the estuary of the river Hope, weighed 49.44 kg (109.0 lb), the heaviest recorded in all available literature. Another netted in 1925 in Norway measured 160.65 cm (63.25 in) in length, the longest Atlantic salmon on record.
The colouration of young Atlantic salmon does not resemble the adult stage. While they live in fresh water, they have blue and red spots. At maturity, they take on a silver-blue sheen. The easiest way of identifying them as an adult is by the black spots predominantly above the lateral line, though the caudal fin is usually unspotted. When they reproduce, males take on a slight green or red colouration. The salmon has a fusiform body, and well-developed teeth. All fins, except the adipose fin, are bordered with black.
Young salmon begin a feeding response within a few days. After the yolk sac is absorbed by the body, they begin to hunt. Juveniles start with tiny invertebrates, but as they mature, they may occasionally eat small fish. During this time, they hunt both in the substrate and in the current. Some have been known to eat salmon eggs. The most commonly eaten foods include caddisflies, blackflies, mayflies, and stoneflies.
As adults, the salmon prefer capelin as their meal of choice. Capelin are elongated silvery fish that grow up to 20–25 centimetres (8–10 in) long.
Edibl Uses: Atlantic salmon is very tasty in whatever way one cookes.
We’ve known the benefits of eating Atlantic salmon since the 1970s, when the indigenous people of Greenland were found to have a substantially lower heart attack rate than Western populations. Believing diet was responsible, a pair of young Danish doctors travelled to collect blood samples from the country’s Inuit population. They identified high levels in the blood of 2 particular compounds’long-chain fatty acids with the chemical names docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), now more widely known as omega-3s. And they established that a major source of these fatty acids was cold-water marine fish, including Atlantic salmon and capelin, a relative of salmon that also featured strongly in the traditional Greenland Inuit diet.
Thousands of studies have investigated the Inuit phenomenon and the role played by omega-3s in cardiac health. This research has shown that the human body needs but can’t produce omega-3s and must source them from foods such as the Atlantic salmon and other cold-water marine fish species with oily flesh. And many clinical trials have confirmed that these remarkable fatty acids, also known as n-3 polyunsaturated fats, really do provide significant cardiac protection.
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.