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Fresh salmon

​Each trading day at Billingsgate Market offers buyers an opportunity to see the largest selection of fish in the United Kingdom.

Daily arrivals from the coast and overseas ensure a continuity of fresh supplies and with some 40 merchants trading in close proximity in the Market Hall, competition is keen.

In addition to such a wide selection of fish and fish products, the Market offers buyers a comprehensive service with tenants dealing in cooking oils, potatoes, trade sundries and specialist restaurant and catering supplies.

Some merchants offer a delivery service, serving London and the Home Counties. Arrangements can usually be made for supplies to be dispatched to most parts of the country. Billingsgate Market is therefore able to offer an excellent one stop service to the busy trade buyer.

For more information about individual merchants and their service offering, please contact the merchants directly. Visit our tenants and traders page to download a list of contact details.

Market layout

The Market complex covers an area of 13 acres and is entirely self-contained. The ground floor of the building comprises a large trading hall with 98 stands and 30 shops, including two cafes; a number of individual cold rooms; an 800 tonne freezer store (maintained at a temperature of -26°C); an ice making plant and 14 lock-up shops used by processors, catering suppliers and merchants dealing primarily in trade sundries, non-perishables, poultry and potatoes.

The first floor of the building consists of offices for use by the Superintendent and his staff;  the London Fish Merchants' Association, the Trade Union, the Fishmongers' Company's Inspectorate, the Sea Food School Training Association and for individual traders.

The Market is policed by Market Constables, appointed by the Superintendent and Head of Security, who are supervised by a Market Sergeant.

Day-to-day cleaning and maintenance of the site and facilities is carried out by a team of City of London staff under the direction of the Market Head of Maintenance.



Billingsgate is the United Kingdom's largest inland fish market. An average of 25,000 tonnes of fish and fish products are sold through its merchants each year. Approximately 40% of that tonnage comprises fish imported from abroad. The annual turnover of the Market is estimated to be in the region of £200m.

Billingsgate is served by almost every port in the United Kingdom. Most of the fish is transported by road directly from the coast and arrives at the market in the early hours of the morning. Imported frozen fish is usually shipped in large refrigerated containers. Imported chilled fish is often airfreighted or arrives by sea via roll-on, roll-off ferries. Live imports include lobsters from Canada and eels from as far away as New Zealand.

Many processed or 'added-value' fish and fish products are on display such as cured and smoked fish and roe; prepared products ready for the table; fish soups; cooked shellfish and pâtés.

Farmed fish are also very much in evidence; predominantly salmon from the United Kingdom and Norway. Trout and turbot are also farmed successfully and this source of production is likely to become more important to the trade with the increasing demand for fish and the need to conserve natural resources.

Billingsgate Seafood Training School

The Billingsgate Seafood Training School is located at the Market and can provide tailor made classroom based courses and demonstrations in fish recognition, knife skills, presentation, cooking and nutrition. To book a course or to find out more about the School contact:

Tel: 020 7517 3548/9
Fax: 020 7517 3544
Email: Seafood Training

fresh fish

Health and safety regulations

For information on food safety regulations, please visit the Food Standards Agency website.

For environmental health issues, please visit the Tower Hamlets web page on Environmental Health.

22 March 2012
Last Modified:
03 September 2019