Nonspawning capelin (Mallotus villosus) were processed immediately after being caught, after 5 days of iced storage or after being frozen at sea and later thawed. Fish from all variables were stored at −23°C for up to 21 months. Both pre-processing treatment and frozen storage time significantly (P ≤ 0.05) affected all sensory variables except appearance. Regardless of treatment, the sensory quality was very stable during early and intermediate stages of frozen storage; capelin processed at sea was superior to that of the other two treatments. Appearance, dimethylamine, timethylamine, moisture and thiobarbituric acid values were dependent upon an interaction between pre-processing treatment and frozen storage time. Hypoxanthine concentration had the greatest potential as an index of sensory quality.