Atlantic salmon (scientific name Salmo salar, given by Carl Linnaeus in 1758) are known as the “king of fish”. Its different commercial names include salmon, black salmon, caplin-scull salmon, landlocked salmon, outside salmon, Sebago salmon, spring salmon and silver salmon. These salmons have the extraordinary sense of returning back to the same stream where they were hatched, and it has mystified biologists for hundreds of years. They have a relatively complex life history that includes spawning, juvenile rearing in rivers, and extensive feeding migrations on the high seas. These salmons undergo their greatest feeding and growth in salt water.
Atlantic salmon are among the most beautiful of fishes; they are stream-lined and graceful. The body is spindle shaped, and the body coloration changes as they grow older. In freshwater, blue and red spots can be marked on their skin and as they mature these spots disappear and take the form of a silver blue sheen. On the stage of reproduction, the skin color changes to green or red. Fins which cover the adipose tissue are generally black. The teeth of salmons are well developed and sharp enough. Atlantic salmon spend their first few years in freshwater (small streams and rivers); feeding on aquatic insects and other food that comes in the current. At this stage in their life they are known as ‘parr’. Most of the time of this stage goes in fighting for food. When spring comes and they reach a size of about 4 inches, they become ‘smolts’, and begin migrating to the ocean.
There are three generally recognized groups of Atlantic salmon: North American, European, and Baltic. Atlantic salmon reproduce in coastal rivers of northeastern North America, Iceland, Europe, and northwestern Russia. Then the smolts migrate through various portions of the North Atlantic Ocean. At sea the European and North American types are seen to be intermixed. Atlantic fish has remained a popular fish for human consumption.