The main difference between red and pink salmon is that the red salmon becomes red in color during spawning whereas the pink salmon does not change its color. Furthermore, red salmon is the common name for sockeye salmon while pink salmon represents different kinds of salmon that resemble tuna. Moreover, red salmon weighs more than pink salmon.
Red and pink salmon are two types of salmon that belongs to the genus Oncorhynchus. Both are anadromous fish abundant in the cold, Pacific Ocean.
Key Areas Covered
1. Red Salmon
– Definition, Characteristics, Behavior
2. Pink Salmon
– Definition, Characteristics, Behavior
3. What are the Similarities Between Red and Pink Salmon
– Outline of Common Features
4. What is the Difference Between Red and Pink Salmon
– Comparison of Key Differences
Anadromous, Humpback Salmon, Omega-3, Oncorhynchus, Pink Salmon, Red Salmon, Sockeye Salmon, Spawning
Red Salmon – Definition, Characteristics, Behavior
Red salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) or sockeye salmon is the second most abundant Pacific Ocean salmon. It has a significant bright, red-orange color. It also has an intense flavor. The red color is due to the consumption of krill. Red salmon turns into the deep red from their bright silver skin as they move upstream to spawn.
Pink Salmon – Definition, Characteristics, Behavior
Pink salmon (Oncorhynchus gorbusha) is the most abundant salmon in the Pacific Ocean. They have a light colored flesh and the flavor is also mild. They are sold either fresh, canned, smoked or frozen. Due to the presence of a distinctive hump in the back during spawning, the pink salmon is often called humpies or humpback salmon.
In general consideration, salmon is an oily fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids. This omega-3 comes from their diet, which includes small fish called herring, algae, and plankton. Some other types of salmon are chinook salmon/king salmon, coho salmon/silver salmon, salmo salar/Atlantic salmon, and chum salmon/silverbright salmon.
Similarities Between Red and Pink Salmon
- Red and pink salmon are two types of salmon fish that belong to the genus Oncorhynchus.
- They are anadromous fish that live in the ocean and enter freshwater to spawn.
- They live in the cold Pacific Ocean and the rivers draining to it. Both are caught in the wild.
- Both are good sources of calories, proteins, vitamin D, and omega-3 fatty acids including eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Hence, consuming salmon is beneficial for heart attack, stroke as well as sudden cardiac death.
- Cooking and canning can reduce the coloration of both types of salmon.
- Harmful effects of industrial scale-fishing such as overfishing, habitat damage, pollution from salmon pens, and disease transfer from farmed salmons can affect the wild salmon population.
Difference Between Red and Pink Salmon
Red salmon refers to the reddish-pink flesh of the sockeye salmon used as food while pink salmon refers to the pale pink flesh of the humpback salmon used as food. This is the visually distinguisable difference between red and pink salmon.
The common name for red salmon is sockeye salmon while the common name for the pink salmon is humpback salmon.
The main difference between red and pink salmon is that the red salmon becomes red during their spawning in the freshwater while pink salmon does not change its color in the freshwater.
Also, while red salmon weighs around 6 pounds, pink salmon weighs around 4 pounds.
Red salmon spends over a year in freshwater after hatching while pink salmon goes straight to the sea after hatching.
Red salmon is the second abundant while pink salmon is the most abundant salmons in the Pacific Ocean.
Largest Salmon Runs
The largest red salmon run is in Bristol Bay, Alaska with a system of freshwater lakes and saltwater bays while the largest pink salmon run is in Southeast Alaska with a mild climate and abundant rainfall, and many short streams running to the sea.
Considering culinary value, the difference between red and pink salmon is that the red salmon is rich in flavor and firm in texture while pink salmon has a mild flavor and soft texture.
Although red salmon is good with other intense flavors, pink salmon is good for salads or fishcakes due to its delicate flavor.
Red salmon is expensive while pink salmon is less expensive.
Red salmon has a significant red color in its flesh and intense flavor. Besides, pink salmon has a pale pink color in its flesh with a mild flavor. Both red and pink salmon are two species of abundant, cold water salmons that live in the Pacific Ocean. They are anadromous fish that move into the freshwater during spawning. The main difference between red and pink salmon is the color of their flesh.
1. Watson, Molly. “The Top 6 Types of Salmon.” The Spruce Eats, TheSpruceEats, 29 June 2018, Available Here
1. “Oncorhynchus nerka” By Timothy Knepp of the Fish and Wildlife Service. – US Fish and Wildlife Service (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “Pink salmon FWS” By Timothy Knepp – U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia