Live seafood

Live fish is preferred by many markets especially in the South East Asia and China. Many consumers are ready to pay a premium price if the seafood is in live condition. Live and fresh fish and seafood are extremely dependent on the transit environment to maintain their optimum selling condition and avoid mortality. Special packing systems should be employed to avoid temperature abuse and counteract rough handling. Selecting high quality product for air shipment adds extra assurance that the product will arrive in a condition acceptable to the buyer. Product handling that assures high quality should begin on the fishing vessel or at the fish farm. Quality levels will also depend on natural factors including seasonal changes, particular harvest areas, feeding behavior, sex and spawning condition of the fish and seafood. Harvest methods and onboard handling factor greatly in maintaining product quality and freshness. When shipping live fish and seafood, there are a number of species specific factors that must be considered to ensure that the product arrives alive. These factors include: 1) respiratory rates; 2) ability to handle stress; 3) excretory functions, and; 4) temperature tolerance ranges.