Document Type



Virginia Institute of Marine Science

Publication Date



Poor quality has often been cited as a major obstacle to increased foreign and domestic sales of U.S. harvested fish. In a report on fisheries trade prepared for the 1984 New England Governors' Conference, the absence of quality standards, particularly for finfish, was cited as a major reason for diminished economic returns to fishermen (Background Paper on Fisheries Trade 1984). A subsequent study by the New England Fisheries Development Foundation (NEFDF) revealed a definite need for vessel operators and buyers to initiate quality control in order to effectively compete for world markets (Connors and Ostergard 1986). The need for procedural changes which will result in high quality products has been well documented; the next step is to define what is a "quality product." More importantly, the characteristics of finfish that exemplify "quality" to a buyer or consumer must be determined. and as well as the basis for that quality differentiation.

This report summarizes the results of a study on the feasibility of implementing quality control procedures for regionally underutilized midAtlantic species. Underutilized species were chosen for the study because the suggestion has been made that inferior quality has prevented an increase in their sales. The species selected were mackerel, scup, bluefish, croaker, and squid. Flounder and seatrout, though not underutilized, were designated candidates for similar studies in the future, because they are mid-Atlantic commercial species with the potential for yielding substantially higher economic benefits. if quality control procedures were to be adopted. (Existing consumer demand for these species could support a increase in price for higher quality products without much problem.)


A technical report submitted in partial fulfillment of contract no. 86-23-17922V to the Mid-Atlantic Fisheries Development Foundation, Inc.



Fishery products--Storage; Fishery processing; Fishery products -- Preservation.