Occupation overview

A career as a fishmonger is hugely rewarding and no two days are ever the same. They carry out a wealth of different tasks and develop a multitude of different skills.

Fishmongers are responsible for preparing and selling fish, and shellfish products, to members of the public. They possess first class customer service and selling skills, and have a deep understanding of the fish and shellfish industry, species identification, preparation methods, and detailed product knowledge. Fishmongers are the face of the seafood industry, interacting with consumers, answering any questions they have, and helping them to make educated decisions on which fish they purchase.


Fishmongers know about a range of fish and shellfish, and the various techniques needed to process and/or produce their products. In addition, they will be able to cut, prepare, package and present fish and shellfish products to the highest of standards.


Food safety and quality produce are of premium importance to a fishmonger. Fishmongers perform a multitude of tasks including raw materials intake and food handling, and developing filleting and other knife skills. They are also responsible for displaying their products in the most attractive way possible to entice customers into purchasing their products.


Fishmongering is a highly skilled profession which is steeped in tradition. A qualified fishmonger could work in a range of different types of businesses including supermarket fishcounters, independent high street fishmongers, and mobile fish vans. Talented fishmongers can go on to manage and even own their own fishmongering business.


  • Adherence with safe handling and storage requirements from receipt to sale, including stock rotation, quality assessment, temperature control and monitoring and avoiding crosscontamination
  • The ability to hand prepare fish including scaling, gutting, filleting, boning, pocketing, canoeing and skinning
  • The ability to hand prepare shellfish including dressing and shucking
  • Display fish and shellfish for retail sale
  • An ability to sell fish and shellfish by interpreting and satisfying customer needs, through upselling/link selling and promotions
  • Process the sale of fish and shellfish, including portioning, preparing, weighing, packing, labelling and processing payments relevant to the business
  • Use tools and equipment safely in the handling, preparation and sale of fish and shellfish
  • Work safely and hygienically in the handling, preparation and sale of fish and shellfish
  • Handle complaints and resolve problems appropriate to business policy and procedures
  • Communicate effectively with customers and colleagues



  • The history and development of the fish and shellfish sector
  • The range of commercially available fish and shellfish species, harvesting methods and fish stocks
  • The fish and shellfish supply chain
  • Seasonality and supply and the factors that impact on price and availability
  • Safe handling and storage of fish and shellfish from receipt to sale, including opening and closing a fish display counter
  • The principles of product food safety
  • Stock control, product pricing, traceability and quality assurance
  • Preparation of the different types of fish and shellfish for retail display and sale
  • The principles of displaying fish and shellfish for sale
  • Customer requirements, complaints and how to meet their expectations
  • The principles of selling fish and shellfish, profitability and how to maximise sales
  • How to process the sale of fish and shellfish including weighing, packing and labelling
  • The factors that impact on the commercial success of the business
  • Basic cooking methods – recipes for a variety of fish and shellfish
  • Health and safety within the working environment



  • Safe Working: ensures safety of self and others, addresses safety issues and concerns
  • Hygienic working: follows food safety procedures and policies, address food safety issues and concerns
  • Ownership of work: accepts responsibility and is proactive
  • Pride in work: integrity, aims for excellence, punctual and reliable
  • Self-development: seeks learning and development opportunities
  • Integrity and respect: for all colleagues
  • Working in a team: builds good relationships with others
  • Problem solving: identifies and participates in problem solving
  • Responsiveness to change: flexibility to changing environment and demands
  • Company/industry perspective: desire to learn about own company and food industry, acts as an ambassador
  • Effective Communication: confident and professional engagement with others, listens effectively, receives feedback


Entry Requirements

There are no formal entry requirements for this programme



Typical duration 18 to 24 months for new entrants


Professional Qualifications / Recognition

Apprentices may progress to further learning within the food and drink industry, or a range of employment opportunities

Originally published on, this information has been re-used under the terms of the Open Government Licence.


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