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Fish Guide

Fish market

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Retail fish market: Chinatown, Sydney.
Retail fish market: Chinatown, Sydney.
Wholesale fish market: Frozen tuna in the Tsukiji fish market, Tokyo.
Wholesale fish market: Frozen tuna in the Tsukiji fish market, Tokyo.

A fish market is a marketplace used for the trade in and sale of fish and other seafood. It can be dedicated to wholesale trade between fishermen and fish merchants, or to the sale of seafood to individual consumers, or to both.

Fish market can also refer to the market for fish products in general, but this article is concerned with physical marketplaces.


History and development

Because seafood is quick to spoil, fish markets are historically most often found in seaside towns, but (if ice or other simple cooling methods were available) some were also established in large inland cities that had good trade routes to the coast.

Since refrigeration and rapid transport became available in the 19th and 20th century, fish markets can technically be established at any place. However, because modern trade logistics in general has shifted away from marketplaces and towards retail outlets, such as supermarkets, most seafood worldwide is now sold to consumers through these venues, like most other foodstuffs.

Consequently, most major fish markets now mainly deal with wholesale trade, and the existing major fish retail markets continue to operate as much for traditional reasons as for commercial ones. Both types of fish markets are often tourist attractions as well.

Notable fish markets

The following is an incomplete list of notable fish markets.

Operative markets

  • Billingsgate Fish Market, London, United Kingdom
    Busan Cooperative Fish Market, Busan, South Korea
    Fulton Fish Market, New York, USA
    Maine Avenue Fish Market, Washington, D.C., USA
    Tsukiji fish market, Tokyo, Japan; the world's largest fish market
    Feskekôrka, Gothenburg, Sweden.

Historical markets

  • Scania Market, a historical annual market at the Falsterbo Peninsula

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