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Dock-to-Door Freshness

A Fisherman's Place - 21 Jan 2021

Dock-to-Door Freshness

The Catch, Clean, Factory and Delivery Process of Fresh Fish in
Cape Town

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Fish processing refers to the various processes associated with fish and fish products between the time fresh fish are caught, and the time the final, processed product is delivered to the consumer. It not only refers to fish but also refers to the creatures of the aquatic ecosystem that are being caught for commercial reasons.

These final products are usually sold to grocery chains or individual consumers and are highly perishable. Pescaluna, a pioneer of sustainable fresh fish in Cape Town, enforces a cold chain process which prevents fish from losing its freshness. This is a massive concern within fish processing.

The Boat Goes Out

Pescaluna casts off in search of Africa’s Greatest Catch, and delivers fresh fish straight to your door in Cape Town, from their dock in Hout Bay.

Quite the Catch!

When fresh fish in Cape Town are caught or harvested for commercial reasons, they need to be processed accordingly, so they can be delivered at their freshest to the next part of the marketing chain. Inside Pescaluna’s fishing vessel, fish are handled and stored in a safe manner until they reach the dock. Pescaluna’s methods of handling fresh fish ensure the fish remain undamaged.

Some of these processes include:

● Transporting the fresh catch from the ocean to the fishing vessel. Pescaluna is an advocate for longline sustainability.

● Holding and examining the fresh catch before any further handling.

● Sorting and grading the fresh fish.

● Chilling the fresh fish to lock in additional freshness.

● Bleeding, gutting and washing the fresh fish.

● Transporting the fish from the vessel onto land when they dock.

These processes can occur in any given order, depending on the type of fish species being caught or harvested, the type of gear used to catch the fresh fish, the size of the fishing vessel and how long it has been at sea for. It also depends on the market

it supplies with fresh fish catches. Pescalua’s equipment and procedures are designed to reduce the rough handling of fresh fish.

From Stream to Clean

So what exactly is ‘handling’? To be blunt (unlike the knife you’ll need for this), handling refers to the processing of raw fish and the manufacturing of fish-related products. A part of the process involves filleting and freezing the fresh fish for distribution, and another part, which we call secondary processing, produces chilled, canned and frozen fresh fish products for retailers in Cape Town. Here are a few ways in which to ensure your fresh fish is washed and preserved:

● Grab a clean filet knife;

● Bleed the fish by cutting its throat and remove its gills and entrails;

● Use clean water or alcohol swabs to clean your blade frequently between cuts to avoid dragging bacteria into the flesh;

● Remove the skin and fat deposits of the fish to remove additional pesticides that may be present in the fish;

● Keep the fresh fish moist (but not wet) by gently dabbing a paper towel over it and wrapping it in clear plastic wrap;

● Be sure to remove blood, bacteria and digestive enzymes of the fish if you’re filleting your fresh fish;

● Place the fish in a sealable storage bag and place it in ice;

● Bacterial growth can be avoided by preserving the fish in temperatures no more than 1.5°C.

“Hake longline fish is our speciality and it finds high demand in markets all over the world including, but not limited to, Spain and France where it is enjoyed as Africa's Greatest Catch.

We provide fresh and frozen fish around the world with over 20 years of experience in sustainable fishing practices and culinary knowledge.”
- Team Pesca

The Factory

Locking in Freshness

There are many preservation techniques that fisheries use to prevent the spoilage of fresh fish. This is a vital part of fish processing that lengthens the shelf life of fresh fish and prevents the loss of fish quality from bacteria or metabolic changes.

Spoilage: This specific type of bacteria produces the very distinct foul odours associated with spoiled fish.

Even though fish carry these bacteria naturally, it is seldom that it has a direct effect on the spoilage of the fish during its processing. Bacteria need the right temperature, and enough oxygen and water to thrive, so it boils down to the storage temperatures

and preservation techniques. Once a fish has been spoiled by fluctuating temperatures, the damage is irreversible and preservation techniques are designed to interrupt the conditions in which bacteria flourish.

The Cold Chain

The moment fresh fish is caught, its consumption quality is high, but, naturally, over time, the quality of the fish will deteriorate, and so will its consumption properties. This is why maintaining the cold chain is a vital part of fish processing, along with appropriate handling methods. This contributes to the preservation of the fresh fish. The cold chain, within the fishing industry, is a temperature chain, which is in effect from the moment fresh fish are caught. Standard methods to ensure the quality of seafood (before making its way to the consumer) include:

Fresh seafood​: Stored at 0°C
● Frozen seafood​: Stored at -18°C or colder

Pescaluna follows the cold chain to provide fresh fish to Cape Town’s consumers. They deliver fresh fish in Cape Town straight to your door from their dock in Hout Bay.


Pescaluna’s Pro Tips

● Fresh fish is best when it’s, well, fresh! Store any unfrozen fish in a sealed container, refrigerate it and use it within two days.

● It is important to keep raw fish separated, this prevents cross-contamination in the refrigerator.

● Defrost the frozen fish in the refrigerator under cold, running water, or microwave. It is best to use it immediately to prevent the fish from spoilage.

● Cook all fish until it is flaky, this will help reduce the risk of foodborne illness. You can also use a calibrated meat thermometer if you’re unsure.

● Avoid canning fish unless you have a recently tested pressure canner, this is because proper pressure and time are critical to ensure safely canned fish.

● Only use fresh fish for freezing.

● Cut your fish into meal-sized portions, or better yet, trawl our menu for meal-sized fresh fish portions.

● Use waxed paper or freezer wrap when storing your fish. Pescaluna uses grease paper and brown wrap to ensure the freshest fish delivery in Cape Town.

● Remember to make sure that you remove all the air from the bag or wrap before freezing.

● A great tip to ensure you don’t lose track of freezing time is by labelling your fish packages with their contents and dates.

Mr P Delivery

Fresh Fish Delivery in Cape Town

Fish processing involves many elements, and one that is often taken for granted, or severely overlooked, is fish packaging - which plays an important role in the selling of fish. Many people realise the importance of packaging to protect the product, but what many forget, is that it contributes to good sales appeal and customer satisfaction. That’s why Pescaluna delivers fresh fish in Cape Town, straight to your door from our dock in Hout Bay, covered in grease paper and brown wrap, which continues to satisfy our customers and inspire people to love fish.


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