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Guide Overview : This Study Guide has been set up for students and apprentices who want an introduction to the knowledge and understanding needed by the Level 3 occupational unit -.
The unit is also suitable for anyone interested in shellfish, non-marine finfish and the various other edible food products that come from the sea, their harvesting, preparation, trading, sales and consumption. We hope that this study guide (developed for Lee Cooper of Seafish by Adam Whittle) will be of interest to retailers, managers, students and others.
To provide feedback or suggest additional content please email the academy.
This study guide addresses the knowledge requirements of the Level 3 knowledge unit , providing access to resources on almost all marine shellfish and other species of commercial importance in the UK. Knowledge
Model learner worksheets have been developed for apprenticeship providers and assessors to use as model answers. They can be made available upon request.
This blank worksheet [to be updated] can be used to guide your studies of a particular species. Your assessor will explain how many species you will need to study to complete your unit.
The Principles unit supported by this Study Guide is a substantial unit worth 5 credits in a vocational qualification or apprenticeship. It is a level 3 unit and to complete it would take a minimum of 25 hours of guided learning.
We hope you enjoy the journey as you explore marine food product knowledge.
NB: This Study Guide is complemented by this one on Marine Finfish Product Knoweldge
General Resources for this Study Guide:
Almost all of the resources needed to complete a study of one or more species of shellfish, non-marine finfish and marine products caught in European waters and/ or sold in the UK retail market, can be found on the internet using the links described below.
We have tried to select links that are stable, likely to be kept up to date by their owners and appropriate to your studies. However, as they are out of our direct control we cannot be held responsible for the content that the links lead to. We have tried to provide multiple expert sources for each topic so that you can weigh the evidence yourself.
If you have any concerns over the content or discover broken links or out of date information then please email firstname.lastname@example.org
The following parts each relate to a specific learning outcome in the occupational unit Knowledge.
Torry Advisory Notes - a series of 80+ booklets developed in the 1960s and 70s but still of great interest today. This FAO Saved Search should take you to the list of 80+ TANs. If it does not then websearch FAO Torry Advisory Note.
Part 1 :Understand the range of marine finfish species and principles of harvesting and stocks
the different types and names of shellfish, non-marine fish
and marine products harvested around the UK and how this
1.1 Explain the range of commercial species that are commonly defined as shellfish, non-marine finfish and marine products including alternative legally acceptable or approved commercial names.
Describe the types and names of shellfish, non-marine fish and marine products commonly sold in the UK.
M&J Seafood – The Fish
Book (See Salmon, trout and freshwater/ Shellfish)
and Shellfish Identification open learning module NB:
A DVD is also available from Seafish.
Describe the different harvest methods used around the UK and how these change depending on the type and location.
The business of fishing video by Seafish.
Seafish basic fishing methods (see pots and traps)
Seafish Scallop dredging video
Seafood Watch fishing and farming methods
Marine Conservation Society - how fish are caught
FAO Fishing method fact sheets
Food Labelling guide for fishmongers
1.3 Describe the role of aquaculture in supplying shellfish, non-marine fish and marine products for retail sale
Explain how farming of shellfish, non-marine fish and marine products currently supplies into the UK retail market.
FAO 2018 Report on the status of world aquaculture is available here
Marine Harvest – The world’s largest producer of Atlantic salmon.
Loch Duart – smaller scale independent Scottish Salmon farm
Seaweed Farming in the UK a future opportunity?
European Commission – Farmed Fish and shellfish
Seafish responsible sourcing guide - Mussels
Scot-hatch – Scallop ranching
1.4 Explain the current general state of stocks for shellfish, non-marine finfish and marine food product and species-specific issues including quotas, sustainability and the environmental impact of harvesting/aquaculture methods.
Describe the current state of European stocks, including how much are harvested each year. Explain the sustainability and the impact on the environment of different harvest methods.
Controls of wild and farmed harvest for shellfish and non-marine finfish are typically controlled by licensed entry and a minimum landing size allowing wild stocks to reach a breeding age before harvest. As farmed stocks are produced in controlled conditions and driven by market demands farm sites and sizes are licenced and monitored rather than be controlled by a quota system.
A series of guides in which Seafish explores topical issues affecting the UK seafood industry and information sheets summarising stock status and management of the main European stocks assessed by ICES.
The Seafish Guide to Aquaculture
EC Fisheries – Total allowable catches and quotas
EC Maritime affairs and fisheries
Scottish Government – Fish stocks
Marine Conservation Society - how fish are caught
Marine Conservation Society – Fish to eat and fish to avoid
Marine Conservation Society – Good Fish Guide
Environmental impact of fish farming
Waitrose fish guide
Tesco fish guide
Sainsbury’s - Our future with fish
Scallop cultivation guide
Part 2 Understand the principles of processing, packing and distribution of shellfish, non-marine finfish and marine products and seasonal impacts
Understand how shellfish, non-marine finfish and marine fish products are processed, packaged and distributed across the UK and how this is impacted by seasonal variations in supply.
2.1 Summarise the different methods used to process and distribute live, chilled and frozen shellfish, non-marine finfish and marine food products commonly traded commercially in the UK
Describe the methods processing and distributing chilled and frozen shellfish, non-marine finfish and marine food products sold in the UK.
The business of seafood processing
2.2 Describe the impact of seasonal variations and adverse
weather conditions on a specific product availability, condition,
quality and typical price
2.3 Clarify the range of shellfish, non-marine finfish
and marine food products available including different packaging
systems and processing methods such as MAP, Vac-Pack, smoking,
2.4 Describe where to find up to date information on shellfish,
non-marine finfish and marine food products for use by seafood
retailers, wholesalers and consumers.
3 Understand the principles of taste, flavour, nutrition
of shellfish, non-marine finfish and marine food products
and food safety issues
Part 3 : Understand the principles of taste, flavour, nutrition of marine finfish and food safety issues
Understand how to describe taste, flavour, nutritional benefits and food safety issues of marine fish.
3.1 Taste and texture attributes of chilled, frozen and defrosted fish and how these are perceived by customers
Task - Describe taste and texture of typical UK chilled, frozen and defrosted marine fish. How do these attributes affects customers' preferences?
Here is a set of 77 slides on shellfish quality assessment. This is not a formal training course, but the slides may be used for self-study or coaching purposes.Seafish – Buying Seafood
Fish is the dish - a comprehensive website developed by Seafish with information on nutrition, health, handling and cooking of fish and shellfish.
See retailer guides in Part 3.2 for detailed nutritional analysis of individual products.
Fish and shellfish safety information available from this Food Standards Agency pages on hygienic processing of fish.
Seafish guide to eating two portions of fish a week.
Seafish's (free) online eLearning programme on food hygiene in the seafood industry
3.2 Species-specific attributes including flavour, texture, colour, oil content and packaging/presentation that may influence individual buying choices
Task - Describe how taste, texture, colour, oil content and packaging of UK marine fish may influence what customers choose to buy.
Fish is the dish - usual suspects lexicon
Seafish – Sensory Assessment Scoresheets
Online Wholesaler/Retailer Resources:
3.3 The general nutrition and health issues, including any species-specific recommended consumption targets/limits
Task - Describe the nutritional and health issues of eating marine fish. What are the recommended consumption targets/ limits
Wikipedia - Fish
Task - Describe the food safety, allergen, contaminant and other risks to human health from eating marine fish? How can these be minimised?
Part 4 : Understand the principles of consumer needs for marine finfish and quality assessment issues
What the customer needs from marine fish, how does the quality of fish affect these requirements?
4.1 Typical cuts and portion sizes for adults and children, and suggested cooking methods/recipes for commercial species
Task - Describe the typical cuts and portion sizes for adults and children. Give suggested cooking methods and recipes for popular UK fish.
Seafoods ltd– fish
4.2 What alternative or substitute products and species may be suitable for the consumer, and the dietary, cultural or religious factors that may mitigate your advice
Task - Give alternative products and fish types for popular UK marine fish. Explain how the dietary or religious/ cultural factors may affect your advice.
Fish Alternatives (within species guides) M&J Fishipedia
is the dish - substitute
species info graphic
4.3 The fish quality assessment and quality indicators that apply to marine finfish/finfish products, and the limitations of shelf-life and best before dates
Task - Explain how can you use your senses to assess fish quality? Explain how different quality indicators of marine fish change as quality reduces and the limitations of shelf life and best before dates.
Seafish – Factsheet on quality and Quality Assessment scoresheets
assessment training videos on YouTube
Task - Describe what recommendations you would offer to customers for handling and storing fish at home
NHS – How
to store food properly
This study guide will be updated from time to time and new resources are added and older out of date sources replaced. We appreciate and welcome any feedback and suggestions for additional content you may have.