Seafood Purchasing 101

Things to think about when you purchase seafood


How to tell if fish is fresh
  • Does the fish smell like fish?
  • If the fish is whole are the eyes cloudy or not bulbous?
  • Is the fish very mushy to the touch?
These are all things to look for when purchasing fish. If the eyes are sunken in on a whole fish then it is most likely is not fresh. As is any fish that smells like fish. Fresh fish should smell like the ocean and not have a strong fishy odor. The texture of the fish depends on a variety of factors and does not always indicate freshness, however older fish will be mushier.


Origin of catch matters
  • What method of fishing was the fish caught?
  • How far did the fish have to travel to get here?
  • Was fair trade paid for the fish when purchased from the fisher?
Knowing the story of your seafood helps you support methods and fishing industries that have a more positive effect on our world. Many commercial fishing methods used are environmentally unsustainable and highly unregulated. Nets are used to scoop up whole schools of fish and everything surrounding them. Others drag weights on the bottom of the seafloor while scooping up all that is in the path of a giant net. Shrimp are the largest culprit of this. Some fish are caught in waters that are polluted. Fish are often bought for a low price and sold for a much higher price, imported and exported to make profit that does not trickle down to the fishers. The stocks of fish are depleted because the fishers never receive adequate pay for their efforts.


Most fish have seasons- read the fine print
  • Is the fish sold all year round at this establishment?
  • Is the same fish on the menu year round?
  • How many plates of fish are served at this establishment compared to the amount of fish available?
Buzz words such as troll caught and day boat caught are often used at places to attract more business, yet the ability to fulfill these claims is rarely met.

Maintain Freshness with proper storage

Storage of your seafood after purchase is also very important in maintaining quality and freshness. When fish sits in its own juice it becomes fishy. We provide absorbant towel in each package of filet to help with this. Once the paper becomes saturated you replace it with a dry piece of paper towel. Store your fish in the coldest part of your fridge. You can store it on drained ice for optimal storage.

Other sources to help you purchase mindfully:

Fishing for more info?

Ask us anything fishy and we will do our best to help you find an answer!


We proudly source local, in-season seafood and distribute it directly to consumers islandwide.
Visit our kitchen in Kaimuki on Saturdays or our farmers' market booth on Sundays in Mililani. You can also enjoy our fish prepared by a select few chefs and restaurants on Oahu!