Wet fish markets may not be on the top of your travel bucket list or generally a place to hang out in your free time. But did you know that fish markets worldwide are considered to be one of the most sought-after travel destinations in places like Japan and South Korea?
Since many of these countries rely on the fishing and seafood industry, it's no surprise that even Michelin star chefs are always looking for premium and high-quality fish from these fish markets.
1. Tsukiji Fish Market (Japan)
Today, the oldest fish market in Japan is closed, but it operates under the name Toyosu Fish Market located in Tokyo, Japan. This wholesale fish market is known for its Bluefin Tuna and is home to more than 900 vendors that sell more than 2,500 tons of seafood daily. Many travelers and foodies find themselves in awe of this fish market for the variety it offers, where raw fish can also be shopped and cooked for you to enjoy a fresh catch right on the spot.
2. Busan Cooperative Fish Market (South Korea)
Busan is not only known for that box office film Train to Busan, but the bustling city is also home to BCFM or the Busan Cooperative Fish Market, the largest fish market in South Korea. Their claim to fame? The Yellowtail is a rare catch in the East Sea, but because of the warming waters in the region, this fish has been their most outstanding catch in the last few years. BCFM supplies 30% of the fish produced in South Korea.
3. Billingsgate Market (London)
In the UK, travelers and chefs often find themselves in the largest Inland fish market in the UK, the Billingsgate Market. It's been around since 1699 under the name Center of Fish Market, which was a go-to for fish and seafood lovers. Billingsgate Market is also open in the wee hours of the morning and carries a wide variety of exotic fishes in bulk at affordable prices.
There are 30 shops, including two cafes with an ice-making plant utilized by processors, catering suppliers, and merchants, which sell an average of 25,000 tons of fish and fish products a year.
4. Mercado Modelo (Brazil)
This is a morning stopover for many locals and tourists alike when in Brazil. Mercado Modelo is unique in its own right since it attracts giant white birds and pink dolphins, which the fish market vendors often feed. Located in Santarem, Brazil, this fish market is known for selling Piraña and other fresh fish.
5. Taipei Fish Market (Taiwan)
Situated in the Zhongshan district of Taiwan's capital city, Taipei, their fish market is crowded for its seafood selection. Many locals and travelers find themselves shopping for fresh seafood and fish here since it's known to supply the best seafood in all of China. The seafood in this fish market is exported at great lengths for its wide variety of king crabs, clams, oysters, and Chinese cuisine delicacies.
A Global Catch
There's no mistaking the fact that people are drawn to fresh catch. In many parts of the world, fish markets have created generations of livelihoods and have become a cultural landmark for modern society. From small fish farms to sizable commercial fish and seafood, there's a lot you will learn about a country from the way they sell and catch fish. Besides, why not have a halibut at 4:00 in the morning?
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