Fish Fraud

You aren’t necessarily getting what you think when you order fish in a restaurant, or sometimes even when you buy fish in a market.  This Boston Globe Article reveals how they conducted an undercover investigation with surprising results.  They collected 183 samples of fish from 134 sites and hired a laboratory in Canada to check the DNA. And they published their results in a two-part series this week: scientists found that 87 of 183 were sold with the wrong species name — some 48 percent.  The really great news?  Some retailers, like Trader Joes, were found to be truthful and reliable!

How about outside Boston?  NPR reports in their follow up that there probably is fraud all over.  But, they say National Fisheries Institute spokesman Gavin Gibbons told them that the problem could be worse in New England because it’s such a big seafood market.

There are numerous reports that the reported catch of Bluefin Tuna worldwide is only half of what is reported SOLD, so not all Tuna labeled Bluefin is Bluefin.

What’s worse is that a good portion of imported fish is tainted.  The website FairWarning reported this past summer that 80% of fish imported into the US is laced with banned chemicals.  Dangerous?  Who knows?  But how appetizing is that tidbit.

We can all try to know what we eat, ask more questions, and eat safe.  Be more of a locavore. Eat fish in locally owned restaurants that buy from premier local sources, and know what they are serving.

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One Comment on “Fish Fraud”

  1. Becky Fowler says:

    I’ve been following this fish fraud story and it is disturbing! Down in the Gulf, fishermen are fighting this proactively with a really cool (new) tagging program. Each fish is tagged with a unique number and we can look up our number online to see where our fish was caught, who the fisherman is who caught it, even the boat!
    http://mygulfwild.com/2011/11/u-s-fishermen-fight-fish-fraud-head-on/


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