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look at the following points when buying fresh fish -
1. Eyes: these should be bright.
2. Feel: fresh clear slime shows freshness, as does a firm - rather than flabby feel.
3. Gills: they should be bright red and full of blood - not brown and oxidised.
4. Smell: fish should smell of the sea, not acrid.
Fillets - when buying these, look for a slightly translucent flesh colour. Look for brightness, and again, slime on the skin.
Flat Fish - these need to relax for a few hours (Dover Sole, perhaps 24) so they relax, become tender, and are more easily skinned.
Round Fish (all fish not flat) - these are at their best as fresh as possible. See 'Fish'; 'Fish and Health'; 'Fish farming'; 'Fish, fat'; 'Fish, lean'