This Is Why You Don’t Buy Fish Anywhere But A Dedicated Fish Market Or Dock

I just took this picture yesterday at a “wholesale club”

Do you know what to look for when you are buying fish?  Here’s a quick tip- If there is any hint of grey or brown on your fish DONT BUY IT!!!!!!!!

The manager of the seafood section in this place should be fired for letting this rotten crap sit on it’s shelves but I routinely see old grey rotten fillets at supermarkets and superstores.

Here’s an article on how to buy fresh fish in case you want to know what to look for

Here’s a link to video’s and pictures of how fresh fish gets handled and distributed locally in Gloucester



A couple of years ago I was in the supermarket and ran into my wife’s aunt- the sweetest kind of lady you’d ever want to meet.  She told me she was going to buy some haddock there.  I told her that if she needs some fresh fish to let me know and I’d bring her some home from one of the places I get my fish here in town knowing that what she would be buying at the supermarket would probably be inferior to the primo fish you can get here in Gloucester.  I kept shopping and on my way down the aisle toward the back of the store I swung by the fish case to see what the fish looked like and to my horror the haddock fillets in the case were absolutely grey with a hint of green and the fillets were also falling apart with no firmness to them at all.

I immediately turned and ran to the front of the store to find my wife’s aunt to stop her from purchasing the rotten fillets.  I begged her to not buy that fish to feed her family and promised to bring her some fish from G-Town.  She honestly didn’t even know any better and told me she had been buying her fish there for years.  I wonder how many other people have no idea what to look for when they buy fish but just remember one thing if nothing else- there shouldn’t be any grey or brown color to your fillet.  If there is any blood it should be bright red.  Would you buy a piece of steak at the grocery store that was grey and not red?

Notice In the picture below how there is no firmness to the fillet, the lines in the fillets aren’t crisp and they are all just squiggily and mushy?-



These fillets belong on


  • I think some restaurants serve this stuff tho and you can smell /taste it even if its gooped up with sauces or fried .
    I like Marias , always FRESH tasting .


  • Yuck!

    I just bought some fish fillets and scallops from from a Gloucester fish market this week and they were absolutely fresh and delicious. It can be hard to convince yourself to make a separate trip after visiting the supermarket but it is always worth it!


  • i think Gucci Shaw’s (vs. Ghetto Shaws) does a great job with their seafood dept. Don’t forget, fish markets often “punt” when there isn’t any decent fresh fish available – just because its from a seafood market does not guarantee its the very best. Sometimes I have to make 3-4 stops to find the piece of haddock that looks the best.


  • I’m from Joisey….gucci shaw / ghetto shaw…whcich is which ?


    • Alot of people don’t like those designations, but Gucci Shaw’s is considered the newer one in East Gloucester and ghetto Shaw’s is the one next to the tracks. They are both outrageously priced compared to Market Basket.


  • Fresh fish is awesome! Why would you want to buy stuff that sat (even for a minute) when we have it still squirming right off the docks?

    Add a stop to Virgillios or Alexanders for the bread, the farmer’s market or a CSA for the produce, and you will spend less time (and money) than you will inside the supermarket (any of them). Bonus that you get to know your community. You will feel like you are on a much-deserved vacation, lose weight, and not fill your body with processed crap!


  • beth: please tell me exactly where I can buy fresh fish that is still squirming off he docks? I am a life long resident of gloucester, from a large fishing family and have been in the fish business for over 25 years so I am interested in your answer. thanks!


    • I’ll answer. Steve Connolly, ocean Crest, Intershell.


      • Joey – I didn’t know ocean crest had a fish market. I’ve seen good & bad at various times in the other two. 85% of the time their fillets are good, but like anything else, sometimes they are not acceptable. When its good, its a religious experience, I have bought bad from at least once from almost every joint in town and its a bummer.


        • Walk into Ocean Crest and ask if they have any haddock. They cut for restaurants. I bet you walk out with some quality product. They don’t have a dedicated market.


  • The fish Jill made last week was awesome…If it is a question about seafood I always ask the source..Gloucester is a great source area for seafood..


  • Agreed! I always ask the source.


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