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 Market is served by almost every port in the United Kingdom-from Aberdeen to Penzance. 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-sometimes from countries thousands of miles away-or arrives by sea via roll-on, roll off ferries.
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 shellfish boiling room; 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.