Find the Season’s Freshest Seafood
Use our interactive guide to discover which seafood species are in-season.
For only the freshest, highest quality flavor-full seafood from the Gulf Coast,
look no further.
Whether grabbing a quick lunch, planning a dinner date or out for a special occasion,
make sure the restaurant you choose serves Gulf Coast Seafood.
To find our delicious seafood products in stores, ask your local grocer if they
carry Gulf Coast Seafood. For the latest listing of retail stores that carry your
favorite Gulf Coast seafood, check out these links:
For easy-to-understand science-based facts to help you make smart sustainable seafood
provides information about U.S. seafood that is responsibly harvested under strict
regulations that work to keep the environment healthy, fish populations thriving,
and our seafood industry on the job.
Visit NOAA FishWatch
When purchasing, preparing or consuming Gulf Coast Seafood, it is key for the final
product to be top-quality and more importantly, delicious! Here are some Gulf Coast
Seafood best practices to follow:
Selecting Fresh Seafood
- Look for firm and shiny flesh when purchasing whole fish or fish fillets.
- There should be no darkening around the edges of the fish or brown or yellowish
discoloration, especially if these areas appear dry or mushy.
- Fresh fish should have no fishy or ammonia smell.
- Live oysters may have slightly gaping shells and should close tightly when tapped.
If not, the shellfish may be dead and should be discarded.
- Live crabs should show leg movement. Leg activity will lessen if refrigerated, but
should still move.
Selecting Frozen Seafood
- Fillets or steaks should be solidly frozen in the package.
- There should be no evidence of drying out, such as white spots, dark spots, discoloration
or fading of red or pink flesh.
- There should be no signs of frost or ice particles inside the package. If ice crystals
are present, the fish has either been stored for a long period or thawed and refrozen.
There should be no liquid, frozen or thawed, evident in the package.
- Never store live (in the shell) oysters in air-tight containers. Place them in a
container with a lid that is slightly ajar and refrigerate for no more than five
days. Oysters will naturally open during storage.
- If you will not be using the fish within a day or so, it’s best to freeze it immediately.
Wrap the fish tightly in plastic wrap, squeezing all the air out, and then wrap
tightly in aluminum foil and freeze.
Preparation at Home
- It’s always best to cook fresh seafood within two days of purchase.
- Thaw seafood in the refrigerator, never at room temperature. To use frozen seafood
immediately, thaw under cold running water (one to two hours per pound of seafood)
or use the microwave defrost setting.
- Always marinate seafood in the refrigerator, never at room temperature. Discard
the marinade after use.
- Prevent cross-contamination between raw seafood and other food products.
- Wash your hands with hot soapy water before and after handling raw seafood.
- Do not drip seafood juices on counters, utensils or other foods.
Important Health Notes - Keep in mind that some people are at greater risk for foodborne
illness, and should not eat raw or partially cooked fish or shellfish. If you are
unsure of your risk, ask your healthcare provider.
Source: USDC National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Seafood Inspection
Program, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and Gulf & South
Atlantic Fisheries Foundation, Inc.