Learn Quality to Serve Quality

Whole Fish

Look For:

Clear, Bright, Bulging eyes

Bright-Red, Slime-Free Gills

Firm Flesh

Brightly Colored Scales

Ocean-Fresh Scent with no traces of a strong “fishy” smell.


Look For:

A Bright and Uniform Color

Firm/Moist Flesh



Red Spots

Yellowing or Browning at the Edges

Flesh that is ragged, mushy, gaping and/or dry

Fishy Smell


Live lobsters should curl their tail under when lifted.

Live crabs should move their legs when lifted.

All shellfish shells should be hard to the touch except for softshell blue crabs and new-shell lobsters

Live clams, mussels, oysters and scallops should have clean, unbroken and moist shells that are tightly closed or close when tapped.

Shucked clams, mussels and oysters should be plump, with clear liquids free of shell particles or grit. Meat should have a clean ocean smell.

Fresh shrimp should be firm and the shell should be translucent and moist.


Look For:

Seafood that is frozen through and glossy


Partially-Thawed Fish

Fish Flesh with White or Dark Spots, Ice Crystals, Freezer Burn, and/or Dry Papery Edges