I don't think I'll be buying sea food here at all.
Not like it was in Hawaii, right off the boat, never frozen.
If those were day boats, then the fish you bought was fresh. If not, frozen fish actually can be fresher.
Here's a typical scenerio:
Fishing boat goes out. Works until it has a full catch---which can be a number of days---putting the fish on ice. When it reaches port the fish is sold to a processor, who spends another day with it. It is then picked up by either a distributor or directly by a retailer. Another day before it goes on sale. So, we're talking about a minimum of 4 days, and as much as a week before you even buy that "fresh" fish. Buying if off the boat (unless as noted above) doesn't make it much fresher. It's been on ice, sure. But for how long?
Compare that to factory fishing. The fish is caught, immediately processed, and flash frozen. Elapsed time: About two hours.
So, as long as the fish is FAS (frozen at sea), and you buy it that way, there are no problems with either safety or quality. If you buy it at the market unfrozen (it should be marked "previously frozen" if that's the case) shy away, as you don't know how long ago it was defrosted, nor the method used (which, often, is to run it under a spray of cold water).
There is one major problem with FAS fish. Often, too often, the package contains random-sized pieces. For instance, I once bought a 1-lb package of cod. Instead of two nice filets, there were five mismatched pieces. As it turns out, no big deal for the recipe I was planning. But if I wanted fish where the presentation mattered that would have been rather disappointing.
The real trick, when buying unfrozen fish, is to learn the rules for determining quality. Whole fish should be clear eyed. Gills should be bright. And there should be no fishy odor. As Emeril always says, "if it smells like fish, go for the lamb!" If filets, chunks, steaks, or otherwise broken down, your senses of smell and touch should be brought to bear. If the seller won't let you smell and touch the fish, skip it. Again, there should be no fishy odor. And the flesh should be firm to the touch, not soft, mushy, or slimy in any way.
Of course, the best way of getting fish is to catch it yourself. But, alas, that's not an option for most of us.