The 7 Best Ways to Buy Seafood Online

Eating fresh seafood off a boat is an experience everybody should have at least once in their life. The next best thing? Buying it directly from the people who caught it.

When you buy seafood at the grocery store, there’s no way to tell how long it’s been sitting on ice. But when you buy fish directly from a fisherman, you can be sure that your salmon was swimming in the ocean just days before. And if you’re not lucky enough to live near a fishing village, you can still buy the very best seafood online from Buying fresh, sustainable seafood is easier than ever. Here are five tips to help you buy seafood online.

  1. Check for freshness indicators

So, you’ve found a site that sells good quality seafood? Great! Now it’s time to see if the catch (pun intended) is really as fresh as they say it is. Look for signs like weight, color, and firmness — these are indicators of whether the fish has been properly stored at 0 degrees Celsius or 32 degrees Fahrenheit — anything higher will cause faster deterioration of the fish’s quality.

  1. Consider Your Source

If you’ve ever bought fish at a supermarket, you may have noticed that it usually comes from somewhere in Asia or South America — often thousands of miles away from its point of sale.

Nowadays, however, a growing number of Americans are choosing to source their seafood from domestic companies instead. It’s easy to see why: not only does this support local businesses; it also reduces food miles and helps cut down on carbon emissions.

  1. Follow the seasons

Seafood is a seasonal food. If you want to eat with the seasons, pay attention to what’s available when. You can find more about U.S. fisheries seasonality here and here.

  1. Shop local

Look for vendors who are as close to where the seafood was caught as possible – this will ensure you get it quickly and it will be fresher when you receive it.

  1. Buy direct from the source

By purchasing direct from the fisherman or company who processed and packaged your seafood, you’re cutting out the middleman, which means more money stays in the hands of those who caught or harvested your fish or shellfish – they will appreciate your support!

  1. Know where it came from

Look for vendors that include information about where their products were caught or harvested on their site (or ask them directly). This is one of the best ways to make sure your purchase supports a sustainable fishery.

  1. Look at their hours of operation

If they only list a phone number and no hours, call and find out when they’re open. If they tell you they’ll call you back, take that as a bad sign — a professional business will be happy to answer basic questions during its normal business hours.

Take advantage of any “contact us” forms on the site. See if they respond quickly with helpful information that puts your mind at ease. Avoid companies that don’t respond or give short, generic responses that don’t address your questions.

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