Talking of Labels: Fraud with Fish

The key results of a recent study from Oceana’s are disheartening. From 2010 to 2012, Oceana conducted one of the largest seafood fraud investigations in the world to date, collecting more than 1,200 seafood samples from 674 retail outlets in 21 states to determine if they were honestly labeled.

  • Mislabeling was found in 27 of the 46 fish types tested (59%).
  • Salmon, snapper, cod, tuna, sole, halibut and grouper were the top collected fish types.
  • Snapper (87%) and tuna (59%) were the most commonly mislabeled fish types.
  • Only seven of the 120 red snapper samples were honestly labeled.
  • Between one-fifth to more than one-third of the halibut, grouper, cod and Chilean seabass samples were mislabeled.
  • 44% of all the grocery stores, restaurants and sushi venues visited sold mislabeled seafood.
  • 84% of the white tuna samples were actually escolar, a species that can cause serious digestive issues for some individuals who eat more than a few ounces.

Could consumer input/pressure help? We should hope so.