The Zmakians were a race who threatened Noah Wrightson and his crew at least once in the past. Starfleet considered them a hostile race.

In around 2369, the Zmakians captured Ulitania Jonar and Wrightson, but they escaped from a Zmakian prison cell and evaded recapture. They eventually met up with the Zmakians, this time aboard the USS Cantabrian, making the Zmakians think twice before trying to recapture the duo. (Star Trek: The Cantabrian Expeditions: "Isolation")

It's uncertain why Jonar and Wrightson were being held by the Zmakians, or if there were other hostile encounters with them. The event would have had to take place in 2369 as the Cantabrian was launched under Wrightson's command that year but his command was cut short with the damage to the Cantabrian during a tense standoff with the Wthaure later in that same year. Since the Cantabrian was receiving a refit in the two-and-a-half years before "Catalyst, Part One" in mid-2372 due to that damage, we can safely assume this event took place in 2369.
Zmakians is pronounced "Zzz-MACH-ee-anz".
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