Buying Fresh

Choosing Fresh Fish

Whole Fish

Regardless of the species whole fish has a few characteristics that help to indicate whether it is fresh.

These are:

• The eyes - these should be bright and clear, not sunken or cloudy

• The gills – these should be bright red or pink, not dull, grey or brown

• The skin – this should glisten and bounce back if touched

• The smell – it should smell briny, similar to the sea, not strong and ‘fishy’ like

Fish Fillets

While there are less visible signs in fish fillets, there are still some characteristics to look for to determine if they are fresh, regardless of the species.  

These are:

• The flesh – it should be firm and bounce back when touched, shiny, glossy and not dry, and without ragged or brown edges

• The smell – it should still be briny and sea like, not strong or fishy

Live shellfish

Each shellfish species will have different quality signs to look for. There are some general indicators for live shellfish, including:

• The shells should be whole, undamaged and not broken

• The shells should be closed or close on tapping or movement

• The shellfish should feel heavy for their size, not look dry and smell of the sea (briny, sweet)

Live rock lobster

Live rock lobsters should be active, lively and should curl their tails under when picked up.