If you live in New York, there’s a good chance the fish on your plate is an impostor.
The New York Times’ Elisabeth Rosenthal reports on a new study by conservation group Ocenana, which revealed that seafood sold in Manhattan grocery stores and appearing on restaurant menus is often mislabeled.
Researchers found that 56, or 39 per cent, of 142 fish samples DNA tested were not what they claimed to be.
Fish labelled as white tuna often turned out be escolar (a buttery fish that is known to cause gastrointestinal issues) and fish parading as red snapper could have been anything from tilapia to Atlantic Cod, for example.
The fault may lie with distant suppliers, where the fish is chopped up, but it is the retailers’ responsibility to check that each fillet is correctly identified.
Fish fraud is not limited to the Big Apple, either. The same organisation previously found that 55 per cent of fish samples in Los Angeles were mislabeled, 48 per cent in Boston, and 31 per cent in Miami.
Here’s a chart from the study laying out fish that are commonly swapped for a different species:
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