The Great Debate: Fresh Fish Vs. Frozen Fish

Fresh Fish

Ask anyone who enjoys fishing why they fish and most often the response is they love to eat fresh fish. However, unless you live where there is no change in season, there will be some times when going fishing simply isn’t an option. So what do you do when you want fish for dinner? You head to the store to purchase frozen fish.

One of the buzz words in nutrition lately is omega-3 fatty acids which support hearth health. If you’re not getting enough of this nutrient, fish is an excellent source as well as being low in saturated fat and a good source of protein.


In case you’re not sure, fresh fish is raw. It hasn’t been frozen or heated in any matter. It also will not contain preservatives or a list of ingredients you can’t pronounce. Generally it is sold or prepared the same day it is caught.


Flash frozen fish is close to fresh but all things are not equal. Flash frozen fish is frozen right after is caught and frozen on the fishing boat. This keeps the fish from spoiling and allows them to continue fishing. This method of freezing does help maintain the nutrients in the fish.

Previously frozen fish may be frozen some time after it has been caught. Fish that has been previously frozen may look fresh but it is not. Most likely it will have preservatives added so that is more presentable when it is time to sell. It may also lose some of the vitamins and minerals contained in fresh fish if it is stored for too long a time.

Consider Geography

If you prefer fresh fish consider where you live. Obviously you’re not going to be able to get fresh tuna steaks without paying a premium for them if you live in Arkansas. Purchase fish that are caught locally and in season.

What to Look For

When searching for fresh fish for a meal, look for fish that have clear eyes. The skin should be shiny and flesh should spring back when pressed. You can also tell fish that is good to eat by how it smells. If it smells like fish, you don’t want it.

No one disputes the benefits of eating fish. There is too much evidence to be found. However, if you don’t live within 100 miles of the coasts, you may not be able to get fresh fish on a regular basis. Flash frozen fish is a good alternative if you know what you are looking for and don’t have your heart set on fresh.

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