Salmo salar (Atlantic) or Oncorhynchus sp (Pacific)

Salmon are migratory spindle-shaped fish that live between two waters. They are born in rivers (spawning between October and January) and migrate to the sea (March to June).

The young salmon generally stay 2 to 5 years in fresh water so that their physiology can adapt to life in salt water: this is called smoltification. After a few years at sea, the wild salmon return to reproduce and spawn in fresh water, in the river where they were born.

To be put on the market, salmon must be over 50 cm long. In Europe, Atlantic salmon is the most widely consumed and comes from farmed sources.

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Les caractéristiques

  • Spotted spindle-shaped body
  • Silvery sides and belly, darker back (brown)
  • Fresh: whole, tenderloin, loin, steak or smoked
  • Baked, pan-fried or steamed or raw (sushi, sashimi, tartar)
  • Pink flesh (wild) and orange to red flesh (farmed)
  • Fatty fish, rich in omega 3


Farmed salmon is present on stalls year-round, unlike wild salmon. The natural stock is fragile and conservation measures are implemented at local or regional level. In France, the fishing of salmon is highly regulated.
Découvrez le calendrier des saisons

Dans l'assiette

Salmon is the most consumed fish by French households (according to FranceAgriMer).

There is no shortage of salmon recipes... This “star” of our tables can be cooked in a number of ways: raw, grilled, roasted, pan-fried or smoked...

On a whole fish, the yield is 65% in skinless fillets.

© Crédit photo : Anthony Denon - Chief de cuisine at Restaurant Papillon

zones de pêche

  • Fishing

Salmon fishing takes place near the British Isles (May to September) and Scandinavia, as well as in the Baltic Sea.

In the North-East Atlantic, the northern area has a better resilience capacity than the southern area due to "full reproductive capacity" (according to Seaweb Europe) Some wild salmon fisheries are MSC certified.

  • Fish farming

Half of world production comes from Norway (1.3 million tons in 2018). Salmon farming is also present in Scotland, Chili and Canada.
In order to guarantee the quality of aquaculture products, some farms have obtained labels: ASC, BIO or Label Rouge.

Techniques de pêche

Atlantic salmon is caught by net, line or bottom trawl.

Salmon aquaculture is a so-called "floating" farming, it is carried out at sea in cages. This technique can cause of pollution: degradation of the seabed by the cages, food pollution or fish escaping...

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