Fish Market Auction

The Role of the Auctioneers

The main role of the auctioneering team is to sell the fish at the auction and to achieve the best price possible. The price will vary depending on the quality of the fish, the quantity available and the demand from the buyers.

The fish is graded by size and weight, and each fish box is labeled to record the area where the fish was caught, the name of the boat and the quality grading score. The buyers and merchants will have access to this information in advance of the auction to help them prepare their bids.

For more information please contact John Rogers, BTA Chief Auctioneer,  john@bxta.co.uk.

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The Auction

Prior to the start of the auction, the auctioneer logs into the KOSMOS  web based clock system to carry out his final checks. Once he is satisfied with the order of sales he sends out a message to the fish buyers stating that the supply catalogue is complete and the auction will start. The auction starts at 6am every week day morning.

When the buyers log into KOSMOS they will see the clock. They also see the current lot ready for sale, which includes all relevant information such as the name of the boat that caught the fish, species of fish, days at sea, and the grade (size and quality). There is also a list of upcoming lots. 

The buying audience consists of a mix of owners, agents and representatives from some of the large fish processors, local fish merchants and restaurateurs looking for fresh quality fish to serve onto your plates.

Grouping of species

Before the auction begins the fish have been grouped by species and are sold in turn usually starting with the dover sole, then on to monkfish, cuttlefish, squid, scallops, turbot, brill and hake etc.

Depending on how many boats have landed their catch, the fish from up to five boats are grouped together for sale. This not only saves time but ensures a better price for the prime fish.

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The Buying Process

The auction begins with the sale of the prime quality fish that commands the best price, and gradually works through the system until all the lots have been sold. The auctioneer starts with a price for the initial batch of prime fish from the first group of five boats. The clock starts to count down and buyers compete against each other to ensure they get the fish their customers want, knowing that at any time someone can stop the clock and decide to buy the whole lot. Once the buyer has pressed to buy they can tell the auctioneer how many boxes of that lot they would like to purchase.

Digital Efficiency

The auctioneer then moves on to the next group and so on until the auction is complete and all the lots are sold. As each lot is sold the auctioneer validates the sale. Buyers details are automatically sent to the BTA back office system so that the information on each sale can be prepared and printed.

Buyers can access and confirm this information online via the reports section of the software.

Once the last lot has been sold the auctioneer sends out the final message “auction is now complete”.

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Post sale - the Final Steps

The fish is then transferred by the buyers to their own fish boxes and stacked ready for transportation.

Once the auction has finished the auctioneers check all the sales, before sending the prices through for invoicing to the buyers, and for settling the boats.

“Why do we think Brixham is the best place for buying fish? Along with the best quality fish the market has to offer, we know that we are in good hands. Fish is sourced directly from local boats and local fishermen and this gives our clients a true sea to plate experience. “

– Les Daniels, Purchasing Director, Wright Bros Limited