How to Sell Frozen Fish

by Flora Richards-Gustafson - Updated September 26, 2017
Fish should be frozen on the boat they were caught to ensure freshness.

The frozen fish market is popular among restaurant owners and those who want the convenience of having fresh fish. Fresh catches should immediately be frozen on the boat to a very low temperature to prevent spoilage during transport. Fish often sold frozen include: tuna, salmon, pollock, halibut and those used for bait.

Selling Frozen Fish

Acquire health permits and licenses to sell food. You will need a health permit from your county, a food distribution license and possibly a food handler’s card. Depending on the size of your operation, you may also need a business license. Since licensing requirements differ from state to state, contact yours to learn the forms you will need and where you must file.

Find fish vendors. Wholesale food vendors can provide you with large quantities of frozen fish if you plan to sell a high volume. If you plan a smaller operation, or one targeting a smaller client base, buy fish directly from commercial fishermen that can guarantee you a certain quantity per catch. Some commercial fish hatcheries or farms will also directly sell you frozen products. Make sure all the fish you acquire are labeled according to USDA and FDA standards. For example, fish must be labeled according to where they were obtained (from a farm or the ocean) and where they are from (country of origin).

Purchase storage items to keep frozen foods safe. One on the most important things will be your freezers and they must have both a reliable power source and backup generator in the event of power failure. If shipping fish, make sure you have all appropriate shipping materials in stock to ensure safe delivery. If delivering locally, purchase vehicles with reliable frozen food storage capabilities.

Get insured. You will need coverage for both your facility and transport vehicles. Acquire an insurance plan that covers such events as: food spoilage due to power outage, loss of business due to bad press, or customer medical expenses due to fish consumption-related illness.

Obtain customers. After determining your target customers, publicize your business. If you are planning to sell fish as a large-scale operation, for example, market and make yourself known to grocery store purchasing managers and franchised restaurant chains. If you will have a smaller operation, advertise in local media and talk to local restaurant owners.

About the Author

Flora Richards-Gustafson has been writing professionally since 2003. She creates copy for websites, marketing materials and printed publications. Richards-Gustafson specializes in SEO and writing about small-business strategies, health and beauty, interior design, emergency preparedness and education. Richards-Gustafson received a Bachelor of Arts from George Fox University in 2003 and was recognized by Cambridge's "Who's Who" in 2009 as a leading woman entrepreneur.

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