Fish auction: How to buy fish in Tunisia

Dear Reader,

Traveling can teach you even the most basic things. As our road trip around Tunisia taught Stanito valuable lessons on how to behave, how to drive, and other essentials, we also learnt very simple things like how to bargain, how to roll down sand dunes, how to pour tea, how to catch octopus and also how to actually buy fish in a real fish auction.

I know what you must be thinking. “Come on, how to buy fish? You just go, pick and pay!”
Well no dear Reader 🙂 in Tunisia buying fish is a lot more fun and different!

It all happened on a very hot afternoon in Djerba…

My travel Buddy and I were exploring the colorful yet exhausting Houmt Souq (in Arabic means literally ‘the market place’) in Djerba looking for spices, handicrafts and more (the perfect place to buy gifts and souvenirs for family, friends, all in one go)

Entering the souq

More souq colors

souq colors

Souq delicatessen

Souq spices

spicy colors

After walking through the many shops and bright colors we reached the fish section. The first thing I noticed were the chairs hoisted up on the counters and with one man sitting in the middle of the counter looking like a king on a throne.

at the fish market

This guy wore a straw hat and a dark robe, sat in a chair on top of the fish counter, overlooking the bidders as he clutched a string of small fish. Then guy on his right side passed him items for auction. He would “show” a string of fish, octopus, or other type of seafood, then hand it up to the man on the throne who is auctioning the items off.

King of Fish Market Djerba Stanito

The process seemed fairly simple and but there was something mesmerizing about the whole thing. The fish/seafood auction happened every morning after fishermen return to land with their treasure. We decided to stay and watch for a little while longer to see what happened next.

The crowd starts getting bigger

djerba fish auction

And other auctioneers start making business

fish auction Djerba

And the main guy selects the second item


As the crowd gets bigger the auctions went very fast and within just few minutes the fish is sold.


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