Fin Fish

Over 160 species of fish are sold in the United States. Of these, salmon, tuna, flounder, haddock, halibut, catfish, red snapper, whiting, cod, and ocean perch account for more than 80% of the production.

Fish can be purchased fresh, frozen, canned, or smoked. Frozen and canned are the most popular ways to purchase fish and seafood. Canned tuna is the number one ranked fish in the United States.

Fresh or Frozen Fin Fish Market Forms
How much fish should be purchased depends on the market form. The fresh or frozen market forms include:

How much fin fish to buy?
Market form Quantity per serving
Whole 1 lb.
Drawn 3/4 lb.
Dressed or pan-dressed 1/2 lb.
Fillets 1/4 to 1/2 lb.
Steaks 1/4 to 1/2 lb.

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Improved methods of transportation can bring fresh seafood to local markets from all over the world; for a price. For inland places, the “best buy” on seafood is frozen or canned forms.

Cured Fin Fish
Cured fish are either:

They include salt herring, salmon and salmon eggs, smoked chubs, sablefish, sturgeon, and whitefish. Lox is mildly cured salmon.

Canned Fin Fish Market Forms
The most commonly sold canned fish products include salmon, tuna, Maine sardines, and mackerel.

Salmon - is canned on the Pacific coast. It is usually sold by the name of the species which differ in:

The higher priced varieties are deeper in color and have a higher oil content than the less costly types. Salmon is graded in descending order as:

Maine sardines – are small immature sea herring that are packed in oil, mustard, or tomato sauce. They are canned in Maine.

Mackerel – is processed in California and can be one of two types, Jack or Pacific. Mackerel is packed in brine or tomato sauce.

Tuna – is produced from six species of tuna. Albacore, a lighter meat than the others, is the only tuna labeled white-meat tuna. It is also the most expensive. The other species, yellowfin, blackfin, bluefin, and shipjack, are labeled light-meat tuna. There are three pack styles of canned fish in descending order of cost:

Gefilte fish – are balls or oval cakes prepared from whitefish, carp, pike, cereal, eggs, and seasonings. They are packed in jars which are filled with fish stock and processed.

Selecting Fresh, Canned, and Frozen Fin Fish

Selecting Fresh Fish

When buying fresh fish, look for fish that has:

If the fish looks as if it could be alive, it is probably as fresh-tasting as it looks. Whether displayed on ice or prepackaged, fish should never be sitting in water. The best way for fish to be sold is inside glass cases, unwrapped on ice.

Avoid products that appear dull and that have:

Other purchasing tips:

Selecting Canned Fish
When buying canned fish, check the label for helpful purchasing information, such as:

Some fish purchasing decisions may need to be made from a nutritional standpoint. Although the nutritive value of fish varies according to variety and origin, they are good choices for lowfat eating. Even “fat fish” contain less fat than most meats, and most of the fat is unsaturated. However, canned fish has two specific weak points in relation to the fish’s:

Canned fish is generally high in sodium: a 3 1/2 ounce serving of tuna can contain more than 600 milligrams of sodium. Some of the sodium can be washed away by rinsing the tuna. Some companies market a low-sodium canned fish.

Other fish products that may be high in sodium, include:

Keep in mind that boneless canned salmon does not have the calcium benefits of salmon with bones.

The difference between oil-packed and water-packed tuna is described in the chart on this page.

Product Calories(in 3 1/2 ounce serving) Fat(grams)
oil-packed tuna 300 20
oil-packed tuna, drained 200 8
water-packed tuna 131 0.5

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Selecting Frozen Fish
When buying frozen fish, make sure:

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