Australian salmon

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Australian salmon


Australian Salmon are species of fish found in the southern waters of Australia and parts of New Zealand. Despite their common name, Australian salmon are not related to the Salmonidae family which includes Atlantic and Pacific salmon, but belong to the family Arripidae. The two most common species are the Eastern Australian salmon (Arripis trutta) and the Western Australian salmon (Arripis truttacea).

Description[edit | edit source]

Australian salmon have a robust, elongated body with a slightly forked tail and a broad head. Their coloration varies from greenish-blue on the back to silver on the sides and belly. These fish can reach up to 90 cm in length and weigh as much as 9 kg, though sizes around 60 cm and 2-3 kg are more common. They are known for their strong fighting ability when hooked, making them a popular target for recreational fishing.

Habitat and Distribution[edit | edit source]

Australian salmon inhabit the coastal waters, estuaries, and bays of southern Australia, ranging from Queensland in the east, around the southern coast, and up to the central west coast of Western Australia. They are schooling fish and often travel in large groups, especially when migrating along the coast in search of cooler waters during the summer months.

Diet[edit | edit source]

The diet of Australian salmon primarily consists of small fish, squid, crustaceans, and zooplankton. They are voracious feeders and play a significant role in the marine food chain, both as predators and prey for larger species such as sharks and seals.

Fishing and Economic Importance[edit | edit source]

Australian salmon are a significant species for both commercial and recreational fisheries. Commercially, they are caught using gillnets, beach seines, and purse seines. The flesh of Australian salmon is dark and has a strong flavor, which has traditionally limited its market value. However, it is still used fresh, smoked, or canned, and is increasingly being promoted for its health benefits, including high levels of Omega-3 fatty acids.

Recreationally, Australian salmon are prized for their fighting qualities and are targeted with a variety of methods, including surf casting, fly fishing, and lure fishing. They are also an important species for beach fishing competitions along the Australian coast.

Conservation[edit | edit source]

While Australian salmon are not currently considered endangered, their populations are subject to the pressures of overfishing, habitat degradation, and climate change. Management strategies, including size and bag limits, have been implemented to ensure the sustainability of the species.

See Also[edit | edit source]

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Contributors: Prab R. Tumpati, MD