The effects of aluminium foil and cling film on microbiological, chemical and sensory changes in wild sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax) stored at chill temperature (4 degrees C) were studied. A quality assessment of wild sea bass stored in ice, in boxes without ice, wrapped in aluminium foil (WAF) and wrapped in cling film (WCF) at 4 degrees C was performed by monitoring sensory quality, nucleotide breakdown products, total volatile base nitrogen (TVB-N), and total viable counts (TVCs). The observed organoleptic shelf-life of sea bass was found to be 16 days in ice, 4 days in boxes without ice, 8 days in aluminium foil and 8 days in cling film. Demerit points did not differ significantly (P > 0.05) between WCF fish and WAF fish. The nucleotide degradation pattern was found to be similar for all storage conditions except for inosine and hypoxanthine contents, which decreased after 12 days of storage for WAF and WCF. The content of TVB-N for all storage conditions showed similar tendencies until 12 days storage but reached the highest level (41.6 mg TVB-N 100 g(-1) flesh) for fish stored in WAF and WCF. No significant differences (P > 0.05) were found in TVB-N concentrations within the treatments during the early stages of the storage period. Bacteria grew most quickly in the sea bass kept in boxes without ice, followed by those kept WAF, WCF and in ice. Significant differences (P < 0.05) in TVC were observed amongst the treatments, especially between fish stored in boxes without ice and fish stored in ice.