One-third of fish mislabeled
There’s something fishy about much of the fish being sold in the U.S. According to a new report from the ocean conservation group Oceana, nearly one-third of all fish are mislabeled in markets. In sushi restaurants, the researchers found that nearly three-quarters of the fish was mislabeled, while 18 percent of fish in grocery stores was not what it was sold as.
The organization purchased 1,215 samples from 21 states, and found that fraud was widespread. However, mislabeling did vary dramatically across regions: Seattle had a relatively low amount of fraud, while roughly half of all fish purchases in Pennsylvania and Southern California were mislabeled.
Often a cheaper type of fish was being sold instead what people thought they were buying. The biggest culprits? Red snapper was not actually red snapper 87 percent of the time, while fish labeled as tuna was another type of fish 60 percent of the time. Fish labeled as “white tuna” was commonly escolar, which could be more dangerous to the digestive tract than tuna due to its high mercury levels.
The study, unfortunately, had trouble locating the source of the fraud, as tracking the fish from boats to consumption was extremely difficult.