Seafood in Season

Seafood is harvested in the seasons that they can be caught in the local sounds, bays, creeks, rivers and offshore ocean waters.   To see when your favorite seafood is in season, download these availability charts.  They were compiled and published by the Pine Knoll Shores Aquarium, North Carolina SeaGrant, and the North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries.   We appreciated their permission to distribute them on our site. 


Characteristics of Fresh Seafood

The word “fresh,” when applied to seafood, often meand not frozen. Actually the quality of cryogenically frozen seafood can surpass that of unfrozen product.

The quality of fresh fish depends on how it is handled throughout the process.

Quality depends on careful handling during
  • harvest
  • processing
  • storage
  • distribution

The freshness of unfozen fish is maintained with adequate moisture and cold temperatures. Ideally fish should be held in layers of flaked ice. Cut fish should be wrapped in plastic wap to retard loss of moisture. The temperature of fish should be held as close to the freezing point as possible. Raw fish should never be displayed next to cooked or smoked fish. Fresh fish held in trays must be frequently drained of moisture. Live shellfish must be protected from melting ice. Excess pan or tray moisture will support bacterial growth.

Fresh Cut fish

Look for:
  • firm, elastic flesh
  • translucent color
  • moist appearance
  • clean, fresh odor
  • open dating for freshness

Fresh Whole and Dressed Fish

Look For:
  • bright, shiny eyes
  • bright red gills
  • firm elastic flesh
  • scaled adhere tightly to skin
  • smooth, glistening skin
  • mild, ocean-like aroma
  • Intestinal cavity of gutte fish is pink

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