Fresh fish is a central point in fish as food utilization. First, it is in itself the most important item both on local and international fish markets, second because it is not possible to obtain a safe and quality fish product unless fresh fish is used as the primary raw material. FAO understands that these are the basic concepts on which it is necessary to insist in order to provide fish markets with safe fish and fishery products of improved quality, and to contribute to the reduction of post-harvest losses.

In 1988, FAO published "Fresh fish - quality and quality changes" (FAO Collection: Fisheries, No. 29), authored by Professor Hans H. Huss. It has been published by FAO in English, French and Spanish, and apart from the original Danish version, it has been translated and published by FAO field projects into Arabic, Chinese and Vietnamese. It has served for the training of thousands of fish technologists throughout the world, in particular during the development of the FAO/DANIDA Training Project on Fish Technology and Quality Control. The broad experience gained during the training activities has been extremely useful to improve, update and enlarge whenever necessary the above-mentioned document.

After seven years, the need became apparent for a new publication on the subject. Professor Huss prepared the new document with the assistance and contribution of colleagues and experts in the various subject fields involved, as acknowledged below:  

Torger Borresen1) Muscle anatomy and function part of  3.2 
Chemical composition  4. 
Paw Dalgaard1) The effect of storage temperature 6.1
The effect of anaerobic conditions and carbon dioxide 6.3 
Lone Gram1) Bacteriological changes  5.3 
The effect of fish species, fishing ground and season 6.5
Microbiological methods  8.4
Benny Jensen1) Measurements of oxidative rancidity  part of 8.2
Bo Jorgensen1) Lipid oxidation and hydrolysis 5.4
Jette Nielsen1) Sensory changes 5.1 
Sensory methods  8.1
Karsten Baek Olsen1) Improved catch handling in industrial fisheries 7.3
Tom GiIl2)  Autolytic changes 5.2
Biochemical and chemical methods  8.2 
Hector M. Lupin3) Basics of fresh fish handling and use of ice 7.1
Fish handling in artisanal fisheries  7.2


Technological Laboratory, Danish Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Technical University, Building 221, DK-2800 Lyngby, Denmark

The preparation, editing and printing of this document has been financed by the FAO Regular Programme (Fish Utilization and Marketing Service, FIIU) and the FAO/DANIDA Training Project on Fish Technology and Quality Control GCP/INT/609/DEN).


2) Canadian Institute of Fisheries Technology, Technical University of Nova Scotia, P.O. Box 1000, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada B3J 2X4
3) Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN, Fish Utilization and Marketing Service, Viale delle Terme di Caracalla, 00100 Rome, Italy


FAO Fisheries Department
FAO Regional and Sub-Regional Fisheries Officers
FAO Representatives
FAO Fisheries Field Projects