grades

Quality Grades and EAS Grades table

All the species of fish we sell by auction are graded to strict weight specifications.  The catches of all vessels are also assigned quality grades which may vary from boat to boat and indeed from specie to specie.    Tables setting out the weight specifications of different sizes of fish and a description of the quality grades which may be assigned to them are set out below. 

 It is very important for buyers who are buying fish "unseen" over the internet to be given as much accurate information as possible so that they can buy with confidence.  In reality, buyers quickly learn which vessels land consistently high quality catches and reward them with better prices.

The general subject of fish grades and quality grading is enough to send most people scampering for the trees; it is stupefyingly boring but just in case you have cracked that last flea on the cat or dog or suffer from depression and think a a quick grading pep talk will buck you up, then read on.

The grading sizes produced by the EU within the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) have little to do with the commercial realities of the UK Fishing Industry. Hence buyers will often request a new grade as they will have a customer who wants a particular species of fish within certain weight parameters.  More often than not we will turn down the requests because more grades mean more boxes, more ice, more labour and more room for mistakes.  Nevertheless, where there is general agreement among the buyers, we will split an EU grade  into two grades to satisfy the more precise requirements of buyers.

Ever increasing bureaucracy demands we forward a copy of the sales note of every catch by every boat to the Marine Management Organisation (MMO). Where our grades differ to those used by the MMO, they have to be "mapped" through our software to equate to the MMO grades which is another reason why we usually tell buyers politely to b**ger off when another grade is being requested.  

 

The fish is sold with seven different quality grades and in a certain order of types of boats and also a certain species order as stated in the order of sale and species order section. This hopefully will aid the buyer to be paying attention when they are just after certain species of fish.

Quality Grades

Quality grading is not an exact science and is dependent on the knowledge and experience of the assessor.

In general terms, four categories of freshness are applied i.e. E, A, A- and B where again in general E is very good quality, A is good  quality, A- is below average and B is poor.

In addition,  we have sub divisions to give buyers an indication of the method by which some of the fish is caught. Thus the letter L stands for line-caught fish i.e. by hand line or rod and line but not longline and the letter S stands for scalloping. Thus AS would indicate good average quality fish caught as a by-catch by a vessel that targets scallops with dredges; it would not be unusual for such fish to have the odd "scuff" mark whereas EL would indicate the best quality fish.

Anyone still awake?

 

  • EL: Best quality line caught fish as described in E below.
  • E:   Bright,shining skin, convex eyes with black pupils and clear corneas, bright red gills and firm flesh. 
  • A:  Good quality fish other than line caught. Slight loss of bloom on skin, eyes with slightly opaque pupils, pink gills and firm flesh.
  • A-: Poor quality fish often with non standard presentations such as damaged(often by seals), bruised, white-gilled, and slinky.  Before some of you get too excited, slinky does not mean sinuous or flowing gracefully; it means an emaciated fish in need of a bloody good meal.
  • ES: Good quality by-catch fish caught by boatsDay boat scallop by-catch.
  • AS: Beam caught scallop dredged fish.
  • B: Poor quality.

 

EAS Grades

SpeciesE.A.S. GradeWeightCommentEU GradeERS Grade
Albacore Tuna1> 11 kgs 11
Albacore Tuna29 - 11kgs 11
Albacore Tuna37 - 9kgs 11
Albacore Tuna45 - 7kgs 11
Albacore Tuna53 - 5kgs 22
Albacore Tuna60 - 3kgs 22
Angler - Head On11> 12 kgs 11
Angler - Head On126 -12kgs 22
Angler - Head On203 - 6 kgs 33
Angler - Head On301.5 - 3 kgs 44
Angler - Head On400.75 - 1.5 kgs 44
Angler - Head On500 - 0.75 kgs 55
Angler - Tails11> 4.0 kgs 11
Angler - Tails122 - 4 kgs 22
Angler - Tails201 - 2 kgs 33
Angler - Tails300.5 - 1.0 kgs 44
Angler - Tails400.25 - 0.5 kgs 54
Angler - Tails50< 0.25 kgs 55
Bass1> 6.0 kgs  U9
Bass24 - 6 kgs  U9
Bass32 - 4 kgs  U9
Bass41 - 2 kgs  U9
Bass50.5 - 1.0 kgs  U9
Bass6< 0.5 kgs  U9
Black Bream1> 1.0 kgs  1
Black Bream20.75-1.0 kgs  2
Black Bream30.5 - 0.75 kgs  3
Black Bream40.3 - 0.5 kgs  4
Black Bream5< 0.3 kgs  4
*Blonde Ray1> 6.0 kgs 11
*Blonde Ray24.0 - 6.0 kgs 22
*Blonde Ray33.0 - 4.0 kgs 33
*Blonde Ray42.0 - 3.0 kgs 34
*Blonde Ray5< 2.0 kgs 34
*Blonde Wings - Pairs1> 3.0 kgs 11
*Blonde Wings - Pairs22.0 - 3.0 kgs 22
*Blonde Wings - Pairs31.5 - 2.0 kgs 22
*Blonde Wings - Pairs41.0 - 1.5 kgs 22
*Blonde Wings - Pairs5< 1.0 kgs 22
Brill1> 2.0 kgs  U9
Brill21.5 - 2.0 kgs  U9
Brill31.0 - 1.5 kgs  U9
Brill40.5 - 1.0 kgs  U9
Brill5< 0.5 kgs  U9
Cod1> 7.0 kgs 11
Cod24.0 - 7.0 kgs 22
Cod32.0 - 4.0 kgs 33
Cod41.0 - 2.0 kgs 44
Cod50.3 - 1.0 kgs 55
Coley/Saithe1> 5.0 kgs 11
Coley/Saithe23.0 - 5.0 kgs 22
Coley/Saithe31.5 - 3.0 kgs 33
Coley/Saithe40.3 - 1.5 kgs 44
Conger11> 10.0 kgs 11
Conger127.0 - 10.0 kgs 11
Conger215.0 - 7.0 kgs 22
Conger313.0 - 5.0 kgs 33
Conger320.3 - 3.0 kgs 33
Crab1Cock 1U129
Crab2Hen 2U129
Cuttlefish1   123
Cuttlefish2   123
Dabs1> 0.25 kgs 11
Dabs20.13 - 0.25 kgs 22
Dived Scallops1120+ mm  U9
Dived Scallops2110-120mm  U9
Dived Scallops3100-110mm  U9
Dogfish (Rough)1  22
Dory1> 2.0 kgs  U9
Dory21.0 - 2.0 kgs  U9
Dory30.5 - 1.0 kgs  U9
Dory40.2 - 0.5 kgs  U9
Dory5< 0.2 kgs  U9
Gilt Head Bream1> 1.0 kgs  U9
Gilt Head Bream20.75-1.0 kgs  U9
Gilt Head Bream30.5 - 0.75 kgs  U9
Gilt Head Bream40.3 - 0.5 kgs  U9
Gilt Head Bream5< 0.3 kgs  U9
Grey Mullet1> 1.0 kgs 11
Grey Mullet20.5 - 1.0 kgs 22
Grey Mullet30.2 - 0.5 kgs 33
Grey Mullet40.1 - 0.2kgs 44
Gurnard (All)1> 1.0 kgs 11
Gurnard (All)20.4 - 1.0 kgs 22
Gurnard (All)30.2 - 0.4 kgs 33
Gurnard (All)40.06 - 0.2 kgs 44
Haddock1> 2.0 kgs 11
Haddock21.0 - 2.0 kgs 11
Haddock30.57 - 1.0 kgs 22
Haddock40.30 - 0.57 kgs 33
Haddock50.17 - 0.30 kgs 44
Hake1> 6.0 kgs 11
Hake25.0 - 6.0 kgs 11
Hake34.0 - 5.0 kgs 11
Hake43.0 - 4.0 kgs 11
Hake52.0 - 3.0 kgs 22
Hake61.0 - 2.0 kgs 22
Hake70.5 - 1.0 kgs 33
Hake8> 0.5 kgs 44
Halibut1   U9
Herring1  22
Horse Mackerel1 Large11
Horse Mackerel2 Small33
Lemon Sole1> 0.6 kgs 11
Lemon Sole210.5 -0.6 kgs 22
Lemon Sole220.35 - 0.5 kgs 22
Lemon Sole300.15 - 0.35 kgs 33
Lemon Sole31< 0.15 kgs 33
Ling1> 5.0 kgs 11
Ling22.5 - 5.0 kgs 22
Ling3< 0.25 kgs 33
Lobster1> 1.4 kgs  U9
Lobster2<1.4 kgs  U9
Lobster3   U9
Mackerel1> 0.5 kgs> 37.5 cms11
Mackerel20.2 - 0.5 kgs29 - 37.5 cms22
Mackerel30.1 - 0.2 kgs24 - 29 cms33
Megrim1> 0.8 kgs 11
Megrim20.5 - 0.8 kgs 11
Megrim30.35 - 0.5 kgs 12
Megrim40.2 - 0.35 kgs 23
Megrim5< 0.2 kgs 34
Norway Lobster - Whole1< 20 per kg 11
Norway Lobster - Whole221 - 40 per kg 22
Norway Lobster - Whole341 - 60 per kg 33
Norway Lobster - Whole4> 60 per kg 44
Octopus1   U9
Plaice1> 0.65 kgs 11
Plaice20.5 - 0.65 kgs 22
Plaice30.33 - 0.50 kgs 33
Plaice40.14 - 0.33 kgs 44
Pollack1> 5.0 kgs 11
Pollack22.5 - 5.0 kgs 22
Pollack31.5 - 2.5 kgs 33
Pollack410.35 - 1.50 kgs 44
Pollack420.26 - 0.35 kgs 44
Pouting1 Large11234
Pouting2 Small31234
Red Mullet1> 1.0 kgs  123
Red Mullet20.6 - 1.0 kgs  123
Red Mullet30.4 - 0.6 kgs  123
Red Mullet40.16 - 0.4 kgs  123
Red Mullet5< 0.16 kgs  123
Sand Sole1> 0.35 kgs  12345
Sand Sole20.25 - 0.35 kgs  12345
Sand Sole30.025 - 0.25 kgs  12345
Sardines1   1234
Smoothound1> 2.2kgs  U9
Smoothound21.0 - 2.2 kgs  U9
Smoothound3< 1.0 kgs  U9
Sole1> 0.80 kgs  12345
Sole20.60 - 0.80 kgs  12345
Sole30.40 - 0.60 kgs  12345
Sole40.28 - 0.40 kgs  12345
Sole50.22 - 0.28 kgs  12345
Sole60.17 - 0.22 kgs  12345
Sole7< .17 kgs  12345
Squid1   U9
Squid2   U9
Turbot1> 6.0 kgs  U9
Turbot24.0 - 6.0 kgs  U9
Turbot33.0 - 4.0 kgs  U9
Turbot42.0 - 3.0 kgs  U9
Turbot51.0 - 2.0 kgs  U9
Turbot6< 1.0 kgs  U9
Whiting1> 0.5 kgs 11
Whiting20.35 - 0.50 kgs 22
Whiting30.25 - 0.35 kgs 33
Whiting40.11 - 0.25 kgs 44
Witches1> 0.55 kgs  U9
Witches20.42 - 0.55 kgs  U9
Witches30.30 - 0.42 kgs  U9
Witches4< 0.30 kgs  U9
Wreckfish1> 4kgs  U9
Wreckfish22 - 4 kgs  U9
Wreckfish31 - 2 kgs  U9
Wreckfish40.5 - 1.0 kgs  U9
Wreckfish5< 0.5 kgs  U9

* Please note all Rays and Skates are graded to the sizes for Blonde Ray & Blonde Wings

  • Cuckoo Ray
  • Long-nosed Skate
  • Sandy Ray
  • Shagreen Ray
  • Small-eyed Ray
  • Spotted Ray
  • Starry Ray
  • Thornback Ray

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