In this post, we've collected a few photos of different species of fish that we buy 'wet' for preparation before packing and freezing. The term 'wet fish' is applied to fresh fish. Below we've got pictures of red mullet, gilt-head bream, sea bass and pike.
If the fish is going to be sent out as a 'whole' fish we trim the fins from the fish. No one want's to eat the fins and they can give you a nasty prick if you run your hand across them the opposite way. That is a guilt-head sea bream in the photo above that is reared in a Greek open water sea farm. You can cut its fins with a sturdy pair of kitchen scissors.
Depending on the size of the fish and the scales, we use different tools to scale the fish. In the top photo, we use a small scaler and in the second photo of a 2.5kg sea bass, we are using a heavy-duty scaler that is actually a horse brush. We buy them new ;)
It's not pretty, right... but it's real. In the pictures above Gracjan is filleting a pike that's come from France. The belly is slit open and the guts are removed. The bloodline is then scraped out that runs along the backbone and then the whole belly cavity is rinsed out. This step is only done if the fish is going to be sold as whole to be cooked whole.
If the fish is being sold as fillets the skin will already have been scaled (it is near impossible to scale a fish fillet). An initial incision is made behind the head of the fish and then the knife is run down the back of the fish multiple times in long smooth motions to remove the fillet. There is a bit more to it than that, but for the purposes of this post, that brief description will do. The belly area of the fillet will be cleaned up and trimmed.
The fillet in the photo above is a red mullet fillet that has been trimmed. Gracjan is removing the pin-bones individually with boning plyers. This job is time-consuming and does need quite a delicate hand in order not to destroy the middle of the fillet. We tend to only undertake this process on medium to expensive fish. For example, we wouldn't do this on mackerel fillets.