Atlantic and Pacific salmon are two different species of salmon that have some distinct differences. Here are some of the qualitative differences between the two:
Species Diversity: There is only one species of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar), while there are multiple species of Pacific salmon, including Chinook, Coho, Sockeye, Pink, and Chum.
Life Cycle: Atlantic salmon have the ability to spawn more than once, which means they can return to the ocean after spawning in fresh water, a characteristic known as iteroparity. On the other hand, most Pacific salmon species die shortly after spawning, a trait called semelparity.
Size: The size of the salmon can vary depending on the species. Atlantic salmon are generally larger than most Pacific salmon species, although the largest species of Pacific salmon, the Chinook, can grow larger than the Atlantic salmon.
Habitat: Atlantic salmon are native to the North Atlantic Ocean, while Pacific salmon are native to the North Pacific Ocean. However, both species have been introduced to non-native environments.
Taste and Texture: The taste and texture can vary depending on diet, habitat, and other factors. Atlantic salmon is known for its mild flavor and tender flesh. Pacific salmon, particularly Sockeye and Chinook, have a stronger flavor and firm texture.
Farming: Almost all Atlantic salmon available in the market is farm-raised, as wild Atlantic salmon populations are significantly depleted. Pacific salmon, on the other hand, are mostly wild-caught, although there are some farmed Coho and Chinook salmon.
Color: The color of the flesh varies depending on the species and diet. Wild Atlantic salmon tend to have a more orange color due to a diet rich in krill and shrimp. Pacific salmon can have colors ranging from deep red (Sockeye) to pale pink (Chum).
Please note that there can be exceptions and variations within these general differences due to the diverse nature of these species.