3 Reasons Why Seafood Is So Expensive


Seafood Pasta in a plate

When you go to a restaurant and you like to order your favorite seafood, you are probably aware that it is going to be a higher price than most of the other meals. Even if you were to order filet mignon, it is really the only type of meal that you can order that can compete with the price. Of course, if you order fish and chips, you are not paying for gourmet fish, and therefore, the price will be a little lower. There are actually a few legitimate reasons why seafood is so expensive, and this begins with how the many different sea creatures that we eat at restaurants today are harvested.

Harvesting Fish Can Be Expensive

Unlike cattle, sheep, goats or any other domesticated animal that is grown for the purpose of food, fish cannot be corralled into a particular area and harvested when you are ready. Fishermen must go out on boats, dropping nets into the ocean, sometimes several meters deep. Many studies have shown that fish are actually moving lower than the nets can go, making it difficult for fishermen to harvest all of the fish that we need. Therefore, the cost of harvesting which includes paying the fishermen, and also processing the fish so it can be shipped is quite expensive. Additionally, if they are unable to catch enough fish, they will have to raise the price in order to earn enough money to continue in this line of work. The only time that this is not true is where you will have a lagoon or designated body of water where shellfish can be raised and harvested. It is also true that fish can be raised within a fishery, but these are typically released, including trout, German Browns, and salmon.

It Is More Difficult To Process

Another reason that fish can be much more expensive is the cost of processing them. Again, different from meat which is simply cut from the bone, fish require a very special fillet factory that is specifically designed to remove the heads, tails, scales, and to clean the fish so that they are ready to ship to those that will sell these on the market.

The Cost Of Shipment

The cost of shipping the fish is also very expensive in comparison to other forms of meat. For example, if you are getting steaks from a local ranch, they likely raise their cattle out that one location, and transitioning the process to meet to buyers may only be a few hundred miles. On the other hand, when you are shipping fish, they actually go through a couple different shipping procedures. First, the fishermen must go to where the fish are. Second, they must come back with the fish. Third, they must be taken to a processing plant that could be quite a distance from the harbor. Finally, the processed fish must be packaged and shipped to distribution networks, or wholesale providers that will then ship it to retailers. All of this shipping can cost a significant amount of money, and as such, will raise the price of any type of fish that you purchase to eat.

Now that you know a little bit more about why seafood is so expensive, you may realize that we are very lucky to have it in virtually every modern city and town throughout the world. There is so much that must be done to bring fish to restaurants, or even our kitchen table, but it is definitely well worth it, especially for those that absolutely have to have fish in their diet.