A fish market is a usually public space dedicated to the fish and shellfish trade. It mainly involves the wholesale of these genres after their initial extractive fishing on the same day.


In maritime areas and ports, a fish market is that place destined to concentrate the sale of fish and shellfish. Within the food sector, these logistics centers represent an important point of sale and product selection.

Fishermen deposit their goods just brought from the sea there, at the disposal of fishmongers and other businessmen who go to their suppliers to purchase it and transport it to the usual points of sale.

Although it is true that the majority of the business developed in these facilities is wholesale, there is also the possibility that small buyers or individuals have the possibility of making retail purchases.

Regarding infrastructure and means, every auction must have sufficient facilities to carry out the work of unloading at the dock and subsequent loading in other means of transport destined to carry the goods sold.

At the same time, there must be fixed assets that allow the weighing, preparation and labeling of the products, as a step prior to their commercialization after auction.

Characteristics of a fish market

Due to its uniqueness as a business and industrial environment, a fish market has a series of characteristic features to highlight:

  • In areas with less population, it is situated as the business and economic center, attracting the majority of economic agents in a locality. This occurs in mostly coastal territories whose economy is based on fishing.
  • It makes it easier for SMEs or self-employed fishermen to develop their productive activity, since they often do not have the infrastructure or logistics to have their own facilities in port.
  • The hours of sale in fish markets are located towards the early hours of the morning. The ships dock with the goods obtained and the buyers come at dawn to get hold of it and have it ready for trade during business hours.
  • All fish and shellfish offered at these logistics centers come and go on the same day. Due to the nature of these products and their early expiration, it is necessary to treat them in a few hours, requiring cold preservation measures and adequate packaging. For this reason, it is often identified as a prominent example of cross docking.
  • The sale price is often determined through auctions. Although the traditional thing was to carry out this process by means of the voice, with the new technologies, computerized auction methods have been developed.

Stages that the product experiences in the fish market

Since the one-day extractive fishing reaches the fish market until it is sold to the wholesaler, there are some intermediate steps that explain the normal operation of these logistics centers.

All product that arrives at port is classified according to the species in question. It will determine its weighing, packaging and a corresponding labeling according to origin.

On the other hand, it is frequent that the prices of each fish or shellfish vary and are not delimited. For this reason, it is common to carry out auctions of the genre in the same space.

One of the differentiating aspects of fish markets compared to other work or business centers is that it often serves as a point of attraction to new clients or consumers through tourism.

This happens because a large number of coastal markets are located in maritime and holiday environments. In other words, it has the potential to increase its client network on a seasonal basis.