Whether you’re a restaurant owner looking to source high quality fish products or just a curious consumer, fish processing is something you might have questions about. After all, you should know as much as possible about the food you buy and consume. By asking questions, you ensure you get the best products and can appreciate the work that goes into something as seemingly simple as packaged fish.

What is Fish Processing?

Fish processing is the preparation of seafood and freshwater fish for sale and human consumption. It includes anything that changes the physical condition of the fish or seafood, including butchering, cooking, dehydrating, freezing, shucking, salting, and canning. It is heavily regulated to protect consumers, public health, and the environment.

Is Sustainability Important in Fish Processing?

Sustainability is extremely important in fish processing. Overfishing and pollution damage not just the environment, but businesses and world health. According to the World Wildlife Fund, “More than 3 billion people in the world rely on wild-caught and farmed seafood as a significant source of animal protein.”

Sustainable fishing practices prevent long-term damage to habitats and the environment. This ensures that we’ll still have fish to eat and sell for years to come. The fishing industry simply cannot thrive without sustainable fishing practices. If you ever look at a fish product and wonder if it’s sustainably sourced, check for the MSC blue fish label. This indicates that the product came from a certified, sustainable fishery approved by the Marine Stewardship Council.

What Is Market Price?

A common question when looking at restaurant menus, market pricing is the price of the dish or product based on the current price of the ingredients. This is most commonly used for seafood dishes like lobsters and oysters, and the price is typically available upon request.

Generally, menus use “market price” instead of printing the actual price because the price and supply of fish can fluctuate. Lobster is a prime example. Some weeks, fishermen won’t catch many lobsters, so the price is higher due to short supply. On weeks where more lobsters have been caught, the price generally drops.

What is a Private Label?

Quite simply, a private label is a product manufactured by one company but sold under the brand name of another. Retailers do this to differentiate themselves from their competitors with exclusive products. This also gives them control over pricing, branding, and marketing. It also gives them product consistency, as they know the quality of the fish processor they’re buying from.

Channel Fish specializes in private labels, as it gives our clients access to high quality, sustainably-sourced seafood products. They, in turn, pass that quality on to their own customers, providing nutritious, delicious meals to restaurants, K-12 school cafeterias, health care facilities, and more.

Fishing is an important industry, and fish processing ensures that consumers get high-quality, nutritious fish and seafood products. The next time you pick up a frozen fish product at the supermarket or order seafood at a restaurant, you’ll not only know where your food comes from, but have a greater understanding for how it got to your plate.