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Fish market

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Title: Fish market  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: Fulton Fish Market, Billingsgate Fish Market, Fish marketing, Worshipful Company of Fishmongers, Fishing industry
Collection: Fish Markets, Fisheries Law
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Fish market

For the Sydney station, see Fish Market tram stop.
A fish stall in HAL market, Bangalore
Fish department in Whiting and many other fish.

A fish market is a marketplace used for marketing fish products. It can be dedicated to wholesale trade between fishermen and fish merchants, or to the sale of seafood to individual consumers, or to both. Retail fish markets, a type of wet market, often sell street food as well.

Fish markets range in size from small fish stalls, such as the one in the photo at the right, to the great Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo, turning over about 660,000 tonnes a year.[1]

The term fish market can refer to the process of fish marketing in general, but this article is concerned with physical marketplaces.


  • History and development 1
  • Notable fish markets 2
    • Operative markets 2.1
    • Historical markets 2.2
  • See also 3
  • Notes 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6

History and development

The Great Fish Market, painted by Jan Brueghel the Elder

Fish markets were known in antiquity.[2] They served as a public space where large numbers of people could gather and discuss current events and local politics.

Because seafood is quick to spoil, fish markets are historically most often found in seaside towns. Once ice or other simple cooling methods became 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

Frozen tuna in the Tsukiji fish market, Tokyo
Self-serve display at a New England fish market. Customers use tongs to select their fish, then place it in a plastic tub for transfer to either the checkout counter or the fileting station.

The following is an incomplete list of notable fish markets. (See also a list of fish market articles.)

Operative markets

Historical markets

See also


  1. ^ a b c Clover C (2008) The End of the Line: How Overfishing Is Changing the World and What We Eat Page 165. University of California Press, ISBN 978-0-520-25505-0.
  2. ^ Rauch JE and Casella A (2001) Networks and markets Page 157. Russell Sage Foundation, ISBN 978-0-87154-700-2.


  • Bellamy JC (1843) The housekeeper's guide to the fish-market for each month of the year Issue 33171 of Goldsmiths'-Kress library of economic literature, Longman, Brown, Green & Longmans.
  • Bestor TC (2004) Tsukiji: the fish market at the center of the world In PE Lilienthal, California studies, Volume 11, University of California Press, ISBN 978-0-520-22024-9.
  • Le Blanch J (2003) The Global fish market and the need for multilateral fishing disciplines In: Leonard B (ed) Overfishing: A Global Challenge, Diane Publishing, ISBN 978-1-4289-6711-3.
  • Paula Mónaco Felipe (April 11, 2008). "La Nueva Viga, paseo marino en el DF fuera de las guías turísticas" [La Nueva Viga, marine walk in the Federal District outside of tour guide books]. La Jornada (in Spanish) (Mexico City). Retrieved March 13, 2011.
  • Crother C (2005) Catch!: A Fishmonger's Guide to Greatness Berrett-koehler Series, Berrett-Koehler Publishers, ISBN 978-1-57675-323-1.
  • Graddy K (2006) "The Fulton fish market" Journal of Economic Perspectives, 20(2): 207–220.
  • Kirman, Alan P. and Vriend, Nicolaas J. (2000) "Learning to be loyal: A study of the Marseille fish market". In: Domenico Delli Gatti, Mauro Gallegati, Alan P. Kirman, Interaction and market structure: essays on heterogeneity in economics, Volume 484. Springer, ISBN 978-3-540-66979-1.
  • Maniatis GC (2000) "The Organizational Setup and Functioning of the Fish Market in Tenth-Century Constantinople" Dumbarton Oaks Papers, 54: 13-42.
  • Porcù Leide (2005) "Fishy business: Humor in a Sardinian fish market" International Journal of Humor Research, 18(1): 69–102. doi:10.1515/humr.2005.18.1.69
  • Sophie S and Håkan H (2009) "Behind the fish market facade" The IMP Journal, 3(1): 50-74.
  • Sancar Seckiner's new book DZ Uzerine Notlar, published Dec. 2014, highlights historic connection between two important fish markets in the world :Billingsgate-Yenikapı. ISBN 978-605-4579-83-9.

External links

  • A film clip of a fish market in New York in 1903 is available for free download at the Internet Archive
  • Fish out of water: A guide to city fishmongers New York Magazine, 10 April 1978.
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