What are Wet Markets?

Wet markets are marketplaces that involve in the trading of livestock goods and slaughtering of the animals for the provision of meat consumption, including fish and birds.

It is also known as wet markets because of the different forms of wild animals being brought and sold for consumption purposes. In other words, all forms of perishable goods are traded here in wet markets that are likely to get decomposed, if not, sold within the stipulated period.

It is not necessarily important to sell livestock or wild animals in wet markets, but a market that solely or partially deals in the trading of the flesh of any animals is considered as wet markets.

Side-effects of the Wet Markets in the world: –

  • Consumption of too much flesh of any animal is not considered good for health.
  • Wild animals may contain any form of harmful pathogens that may pass on to the one slaughtering, cooking or consuming and become a serious global issue of health.
  • The dead remains of the animals may cause foul-smelling in and around making the environment an unhygienic place to breathe and live in leading to the birth of many diseases because of the open disposition of dead skins causing pathogens.
  • Hunting for pleasure is an immoral act and is against the law of nature.
  • Extinction of animals is one of the serious global problems that is causing deterioration to the environment in many other ways and other forms of survival on this planet.
  • Every animal is essential for the survival of nature and therefore, killing and hunting of those animals is a severe threat to human survival.
  • The natural ecosystem and biodiversity get disrupted while slaughtering of these animals as they are a vital chain of source for the existence of this planet.
  • Trading for wild animals for flesh is creating the endangered species at stake.
  • The natural tendency of the environment is lost somewhere which may be hazardous in the future for the upcoming generations.

There are many wet markets around the world where live animals are bought and sold for the pleasure of their taste.

Let’s check out some of the top wet markets in our list from around the world: –

  1. Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market

Country: China (Hubei, Wuhan)

The most popular and trending wet market in our list is the Huanan Seafood Market which means South China’s wet market. It is situated at Wuhan, the capital of Hubei Province, and is the most densely populated city in Central China.

It was a well-known wet market from the beginning of its establishment before the closure on 1st January 2020 but unfortunately, garnered more attention and recognized as the most popular wet market in the world after the pandemic of coronavirus.

The area encompasses about 540,000 sq. ft. with over 1000 tenants or more. It is considered the biggest wholesale seafood market in South China. It specializes in wild lives for trading flesh.

The market is known for the slaughtering of wild animals for flesh as well for the trading of livestock. Almost about 120 wildlife animals with over 75 species are being bought and sold here.

According to some sources, live animals are not only openly killed and sold here but also, their skins are removed and disposed of in the market publically which creates garbage on and around the wet market leading to a foul smell and an unhygienic marketplace.

The variety of products sold in Huanan Seafood wholesale wet markets includes: –

  • Exotic animals
  • Wild animals
  • Quarry animals (a unique form of a game where the one hunted for pleasure or food)
  • Seafood
  • Livestock
  • Birds
  1. Poultry

Country: Hong Kong

Poultry trading refers to one of a kind wet market that comes second in our list. Poultry is the major source of flesh in Hong Kong. From two decades, the overall provisions and consumption of poultry have significantly raised in the region resulting in an increasing demand for trade and supply.

There are a wide variety of poultry products available and traded in the markets for consumption which includes the following: –

  • Live Birds
  • Freshly Slaughtered Birds
  • Chilled & Frozen poultry meats
  • Ready to cook meat
  1. The Tsukiji Market

Country: Japan

The Tokyo Metropolitan Central Wholesale Market of the Government administers the Tsukiji Market. It was the biggest wholesaler engaged in the supplying and distribution of fish and seafood around the world. Apart from the provisions of fish and seafood, it was also one of the greatest suppliers and distributors of grocery items across the world.

The Tsukiji Market was established in 1935, from the scratches of an older market that was damaged by the natural hazard of an earthquake in 1923.

It was renewed and reopened where the market comprised of two different segments which consist of an inner marketplace and an outer marketplace. The inside market had over 900 licensed wholesalers while the outer market had a combination of wholesalers and retailers.

  1. The inner market traded on: –
  • Fish
  1. While the outer market dealt in: –
  • Japanese cooking tools
  • Groceries
  • Seafood
  • Other supplies

Once again, its closure took place in 2018 and shifted to the latest Toyosu Market which is about 2.4 km away from Central Tokyo, of the original market place.

  1. La Nueva Viga Market

Country: Mexico

It is the biggest seafood marketplace in Mexico and is the second greatest seafood wet market in the world. It is operated and traded in Mexico City.

Almost about 1500 tons of seafood are traded in this market. Although being one of the greatest seafood markets in the world, the provisions of the seafood are operated and controlled within the country itself with most of its distribution taking place in other states of Mexico and a high distribution surfaced in Mexico City metropolitan area.

The distribution of supplies is focused mainly on: –

  • Seafood
  1. Sydney Fish Market

Country: Australia

The wet fish market is situated in Sydney, Australia, and is the third-highest fish market in the world.

Sydney Fish Market originally launched in 1871, an eastern suburb of Sydney which is also known as Woolloomooloo. After many years, it was operated at harbor site of the local fleet of Sydney.

Due to the excessive pollutants and unsanitary conditions and also, because of the proximity to railway tracks the newly and a more sophisticated of a privately-incorporated fish market was developed in 1891, which is popularly recognized as ‘Southern Fish Market’.

The Sydney Wet Market exclusively deals in: –

  • Fish
  • Bakery
  • Fruits and Vegetables
  • Florist
  • Beverages
  • Ready to cook meat
  • A gift shop
  1. Pasar pagi

Country: Indonesia, Malaysia

It is the traditional markets of Indonesia and Malaysia also referred to morning markets as it remains open from the early morning to the midafternoon. The market scatters on a large surface area nearby to the streets.

The Pasar pagi market is operated in the areas of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia while Jakarta in Indonesia. It is categorized as a wet market.

Besides Pasar pagi, a market known by Pasar Malam operates during the evening and night hours.

The Pasar pagi market specializes in the fresh produce of: –

  • Fruits and Vegetables
  • Spices
  • Fish
  • Meat
  • Eggs
  • Daily essentials
  1. Melbourne Seafood Hub

Country: Australia

It is the main wholesaler seafood wet market of Melbourne, operating at night for the provisions of seafood to restaurants, retailer shops, processors, and other houses.

The market imports fresh fish and seafood from the commercial fishermen all over the day and night. The seafood is mainly sourced from the oceans and any waterbodies of Australia alongside importing from different parts of the continent.

The market consists of 12 ‘occupants’ including companies with proficiency in choosing the right seafood as well as some wholesalers. Most of the occupants are highly skillful from their left behind a legacy of selecting, purchasing, selling, and distributing of fish and seafood.

It has now been regarded as private incorporation managed by a Board and a Fundamental law. It is the centric source of fishermen’s survival.

The Melbourne Seafood Centre deals in about 50 different types of species from the waterbodies together with a massive variety of fish.

The Melbourne Seafood Hub deals specifically on: –

  • Fish
  • Fresh Seafood
  1. Palengke

Country: Philippines

It is the perpetual wet market of the Philippines situated at Danao in the province of Cebu. Palengke is a Spanish word which means “Wooden Fence”.

The market is enclosed by a defensive wall. It usually refers to the route of a place with some setups of theatre and markets under one roof.

The Palengke market is controlled by the local government whose authority encloses the actual area of the market.

The Palengke market usually trades in: –

  • Fruits and Vegetables
  • Rice
  • Bluespotted stingray and Scombrids
  • Variety of Fish
  1. Tekka Centre

Country: Singapore

It is a multi-complex market consisting of many different forms of the market within alongside some shops or retailers which includes a wet market, food court, and other retailers situated at Little India in Singapore.

The market was a slaughterhouse until the 1920s which was renamed from “Kandang Kerbau”, to Tekka Pasar.

The complex was originally built in 1915, nearby to Sungei Road until it got demolished in 1982 and shifted to the current location as Zhujio Centre which later changed to Tekka Centre.

In 2003, Tekka Mall was created with an air-conditioned facility and included within the location of the Tekka Centre. 

The Tekka Centre is engaged in the supplies of: –

  • Indian vegetarian meals
  • Vegetables
  • Fresh seafood, especially crabs
  1. Fuxing Zhong Lu Wet Market

  Country: China

It is a wet market located in Shanghai, China. The market complex composed of a two-storied building that comprises a slaughterhouse that specifically involves the slaughtering of meats, fish, and seafood while the second floor consists of a fruits and vegetable stall house.

At the backside of the complex, some imported goods are sold which usually includes liquid foods or semi-solid foods like the sauces, Hershey’s Cocoa, etc.

The Fuxing Zhong Lu Wet Markets trades in: –

  • Meats
  • Fish
  • Seafood
  • Fruits and vegetables

Say “No” to Wet Markets

There is a huge demand from the worldwide campaign for the closure of the wet markets across the worldwide nation. A new world is set to free the earth from animal cruelty and that demands “Animal Equality”.

Why there should be an immediate ban for Wet Markets?

  • The term Wet markets are usually derived from the blood and the remnants of the animals that get absorbed by the floor which is the resultant of the savagely slaughtered animals killed for the pleasure of humans to extract fresh meat.
  • Live animals are kept in a confined cage for a prolonged period with no proper care or food intakes resulting in the scattering of their excretion in an unhygienic way that creates pollutants and other forms of diseases in animals leading to dehydration and starvation.
  • Likewise, plants and human beings, animals form one of an integral part of the ecosystem and deserve equal rights.
  • Wet Markets creates health problems in many other ways including cases of flu and diseases due to the unsanitary conditions and open disposal of dead remains of the animals.
  • Export and Import of wild animals or exotic animals may contain any form of pathogens which may prove fatal for the survival of humans like the outbreak of Ebola from bats, SARS, and the recent trending pandemic COVID-19.
  • Apart from any other causes, the main reason for which the wet market should be banned forever is the pain and sufferings inflicted on the animals because of availing it in the market for human consumption.
  • Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China, Eight-Nation Alliance have already been formed to take action against China for wet markets.


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