Pertes et gaspillages de nourriture dans les chaînes de valeur de la pêche et de l’aquaculture
©FAO/Ansen Ward


Retail refers to fish and fish products sold to consumers for preparation and consumption at home, as well as the final preparation of fish for consumption away from home. There are wide ranges of retailers from multi-national retailers, mini-marts, markets, and fishmonger shops to itinerant fish sellers who sell fish door to door. These all sell fish and fish products that are not ready for consumption but will require the consumer to complete the final preparation.   

Restaurants, cafeterias, deli's, and hotels are common examples of businesses that perform the final preparation and sell the food ready for consumption.   

Retailers are located in villages, towns as well as in major cities - all places where fish and fish products are finally channeled to consumers.  

Retailers deal with a variety of fish and fish products: fresh, frozen, dried, smoked as well as live products. Multiple retailers and mini-marts often sell packaged and processed, chilled and frozen products including ready meals containing fish as well as canned products.   

Products may be displayed at ambient temperatures in basic conditions, under chilled conditions on ice, in freezers or on shelves and in the aisles of supermarkets. Retailers vary in terms of their access to and use of infrastructure, services and technology. Fresh fish retailers in less developed countries may operate in basic market infrastructure and lack access to basic services such as potable water and electricity. On the other hand, multiple retailers in developed countries use sophisticated temperature controlled technology, bar-coding and scanning equipment and computerized stock control systems.  

Although there is a diverse range of retail activities, key causes of food loss and waste (FLW) include: 

  • quality deterioration during chill or cold storage. If quality deterioration is severe then product maybe discarded and constitute a food waste
  • product reaches its “best before” date before it is sold
  • insect infestation (Dermestes spp, Necorbia spp) of processed products
  • parasitic infestation (e.g. Anisakis) of fresh and processed products 
  • attack by animal pests such as rats or mold growth of processed products 
  • physical damage due to poor handling of processed products 
  • filleting and preparation of fish for customers 
  • poor analysis of demand and supply leading to over purchase and inability to sell products 

Loss Scenarios

Fresh Fish Retail

Fresh fish is retailed in a variety of forms from whole, unprocessed and unpackaged, to prepared in modified atmosphere packs.

Multiple Retailing

A significant proportion of fish and seafood is sold through large retailers in certain countries. Some large retailers are vertically integrated and may own or have significant control over upstream supply chain activities, such as production and processing. 

Restaurants and Catering

Restaurants and caterers have a vital role to play in reducing food loss and waste – from how they manage left-overs and customer plate waste, to how they source produce and develop menus.