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Imposter Fish: The 7 Most Often Mislabeled Fish at the Market

Imposter Fish: The 7 Most Often Mislabeled Fish at the Market


And you thought that was tuna…

Wild salmon usually commands a higher price than farm-raised salmon, making it an obvious candidate for mislabeling.

U.S. dietary guidelines recommend eating 8 ounces of seafood — two seafood meals — per week because fish and shellfish, in addition to being generally low in calories, possess essential fatty acids crucial to cognitive functioning, cardiovascular health, and immune system support. Whether it's because a lot of people follow these guidelines or just because we like eating fish, the United States is the second largest consumer of seafood in the world. To keep up with the massive demand, we must import 90 percent of our seafood from abroad.

A comprehensive study by Oceana, a leading non-profit in ocean preservation and an authority on seafood, found that fish and shellfish mislabeling is rampant in U.S. markets.

Click here for the Imposter Fish: The 7 Most Often Mislabeled Fish at the Market Slideshow

To conduct their study, Oceana collected more than 1,200 samples from 674 retail outlets in 21 states over a two-year period from 2010 to 2012 and tested their DNA. They found that of the locations where fish was obtained, 74 percent of sushi venues, 38 percent of restaurants, and 18 percent of grocery stores sold mislabeled seafood products. However, since the samples were collected only from the seafood’s final destination, it’s difficult to know at what point along the supply chain the mislabeling was introduced, and whether it was intentionally fraudulent or not..

Whatever its origins or intent, mislabeling hurts the integrity of seafood industry. In New York City, for example, of the sushi restaurants surveyed, every single one sold some form of mislabeled fish. Not only is mislabeling fish a disservice to the consumer — and possibly outright fraud — but it’s also a health hazard. One particular grocery store marketed tilefish — which has been identified by the FDA as having a high mercury content — as halibut and red snapper.

Since federal agencies like the FDA are unable to monitor all aspects of the U.S. food system, consumers should be aware of which varieties of fish are most commonly mislabeled, and especially in those cases pay particularly close attention to their source.

Click here to see the seven kinds of fish most often mislabeled.


Imposter Fish: The 7 Most Often Mislabeled Fish at the Market - Recipes

Reports found that critically endangered largetooth sawfish are sometimes passed off as shark in some fish markets. (J. Patrick Fischer via Wikimedia Commons/AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

Assign to Google Classroom

Looking at an array of fish fillets in a local market, it's easy to see how you could accidently mix them up. For instance, it can be hard to tell the difference between catfish and cod.

A recent report, however, has been produced by a seafood industry watchdog organization. The report suggests that a slew of fish identification mix-ups is not accidental. The group has unearthed evidence of fraud. It says fraud is at almost every step of the supply chain. These actions could be putting critically endangered species at risk.

For years, the conservation group Oceana has had its eye on mislabeling in the seafood industry. In the report released in early September, the group examined over 200 studies, news articles and government documents. They were related to mislabeling in the supply chain. This is how fish go from the dock to dinner plates. The group found that an average of one in five fish was intentionally mislabeled at some point in the process. This is according to a report by Nicholas St. Fleur. He is with The New York Times.

"It is likely that the average consumer has eaten mislabeled fish for sure," Beth Lowell said to St. Fleur. She is Oceana's senior campaign director. She also is an author on the report. "You're getting ripped off. While you enjoyed your meal, you're paying a high price for a low fish."

In most cases, Oceana found that cheap, farmed fish, like Asian catfish, were substituted for more expensive fish. Those include perch and grouper. However, the study also suggests that in some cases, critically endangered fish are passed off as food. This was reported by Jani Actman for National Geographic. For example, the group found that the largetooth sawfish, a species of ray, is frequently sold as shark in Brazilian markets. And speckled hind is often mislabeled as grouper in the United States. The report even found one incident of a California sushi restaurant selling meat from endangered sei whales. It was called fatty tuna.

"That endangered seafood item is one fewer individual from that population that is struggling," Oceana senior scientist and study author Kimberly Warner tells Actman.

This doesn't mean that fishermen are necessarily targeting endangered species. For instance, the fish could end up in fishing nets as bycatch. It does, however, raise questions about how the seafood industry should be regulated. Oceana is now calling for the Obama administration to expand proposed rules, requiring better traceability for caught fish at borders. They also are calling for seafood restaurants and supermarkets to demand more accountability from their suppliers. This is according to Ben DiPietro, reporting for the Wall Street Journal.

But the findings don't have everyone in the seafood industry convinced that more regulation is the answer.

"If they were lobbying for more enforcement, we would be in lockstep," Gavin Gibbons, a spokesperson for leading seafood industry trade group the National Fisheries Institute, tells Actman. "But they're saying drivers are running a stop sign. And it doesn't make sense to put up another stop sign. They're asking for more bureaucracy."

Gibbons says that Oceana's report is misleading. He argues that they only looked at studies that focused on fish that are frequently mislabeled. Lowell, however, says that the report took more than 25,000 fish samples from around the world into account.

"This report reveals that it's a global problem and it's not going to go away on its own," Lowell tells St. Fleur.

The United States government is set to issue new rules regarding fishing regulations by the end of the year.


Imposter Fish: The 7 Most Often Mislabeled Fish at the Market - Recipes

Reports found that critically endangered largetooth sawfish are sometimes passed off as shark in some fish markets. (J. Patrick Fischer via Wikimedia Commons/AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

Assign to Google Classroom

Looking at an array of fish fillets in a local market, it's easy to see how you could accidently mix them up. For instance, it can be hard to tell the difference between catfish and cod.

A recent report, however, has been produced by a seafood industry watchdog organization. The report suggests that a slew of fish identification mix-ups is not accidental. The group has unearthed evidence of fraud. It says fraud is at almost every step of the supply chain. These actions could be putting critically endangered species at risk.

For years, the conservation group Oceana has had its eye on mislabeling in the seafood industry. In the report released in early September, the group examined over 200 studies, news articles and government documents. They were related to mislabeling in the supply chain. This is how fish go from the dock to dinner plates. The group found that an average of one in five fish was intentionally mislabeled at some point in the process. This is according to a report by Nicholas St. Fleur. He is with The New York Times.

"It is likely that the average consumer has eaten mislabeled fish for sure," Beth Lowell said to St. Fleur. She is Oceana's senior campaign director. She also is an author on the report. "You're getting ripped off. While you enjoyed your meal, you're paying a high price for a low fish."

In most cases, Oceana found that cheap, farmed fish, like Asian catfish, were substituted for more expensive fish. Those include perch and grouper. However, the study also suggests that in some cases, critically endangered fish are passed off as food. This was reported by Jani Actman for National Geographic. For example, the group found that the largetooth sawfish, a species of ray, is frequently sold as shark in Brazilian markets. And speckled hind is often mislabeled as grouper in the United States. The report even found one incident of a California sushi restaurant selling meat from endangered sei whales. It was called fatty tuna.

"That endangered seafood item is one fewer individual from that population that is struggling," Oceana senior scientist and study author Kimberly Warner tells Actman.

This doesn't mean that fishermen are necessarily targeting endangered species. For instance, the fish could end up in fishing nets as bycatch. It does, however, raise questions about how the seafood industry should be regulated. Oceana is now calling for the Obama administration to expand proposed rules, requiring better traceability for caught fish at borders. They also are calling for seafood restaurants and supermarkets to demand more accountability from their suppliers. This is according to Ben DiPietro, reporting for the Wall Street Journal.

But the findings don't have everyone in the seafood industry convinced that more regulation is the answer.

"If they were lobbying for more enforcement, we would be in lockstep," Gavin Gibbons, a spokesperson for leading seafood industry trade group the National Fisheries Institute, tells Actman. "But they're saying drivers are running a stop sign. And it doesn't make sense to put up another stop sign. They're asking for more bureaucracy."

Gibbons says that Oceana's report is misleading. He argues that they only looked at studies that focused on fish that are frequently mislabeled. Lowell, however, says that the report took more than 25,000 fish samples from around the world into account.

"This report reveals that it's a global problem and it's not going to go away on its own," Lowell tells St. Fleur.

The United States government is set to issue new rules regarding fishing regulations by the end of the year.


Imposter Fish: The 7 Most Often Mislabeled Fish at the Market - Recipes

Reports found that critically endangered largetooth sawfish are sometimes passed off as shark in some fish markets. (J. Patrick Fischer via Wikimedia Commons/AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

Assign to Google Classroom

Looking at an array of fish fillets in a local market, it's easy to see how you could accidently mix them up. For instance, it can be hard to tell the difference between catfish and cod.

A recent report, however, has been produced by a seafood industry watchdog organization. The report suggests that a slew of fish identification mix-ups is not accidental. The group has unearthed evidence of fraud. It says fraud is at almost every step of the supply chain. These actions could be putting critically endangered species at risk.

For years, the conservation group Oceana has had its eye on mislabeling in the seafood industry. In the report released in early September, the group examined over 200 studies, news articles and government documents. They were related to mislabeling in the supply chain. This is how fish go from the dock to dinner plates. The group found that an average of one in five fish was intentionally mislabeled at some point in the process. This is according to a report by Nicholas St. Fleur. He is with The New York Times.

"It is likely that the average consumer has eaten mislabeled fish for sure," Beth Lowell said to St. Fleur. She is Oceana's senior campaign director. She also is an author on the report. "You're getting ripped off. While you enjoyed your meal, you're paying a high price for a low fish."

In most cases, Oceana found that cheap, farmed fish, like Asian catfish, were substituted for more expensive fish. Those include perch and grouper. However, the study also suggests that in some cases, critically endangered fish are passed off as food. This was reported by Jani Actman for National Geographic. For example, the group found that the largetooth sawfish, a species of ray, is frequently sold as shark in Brazilian markets. And speckled hind is often mislabeled as grouper in the United States. The report even found one incident of a California sushi restaurant selling meat from endangered sei whales. It was called fatty tuna.

"That endangered seafood item is one fewer individual from that population that is struggling," Oceana senior scientist and study author Kimberly Warner tells Actman.

This doesn't mean that fishermen are necessarily targeting endangered species. For instance, the fish could end up in fishing nets as bycatch. It does, however, raise questions about how the seafood industry should be regulated. Oceana is now calling for the Obama administration to expand proposed rules, requiring better traceability for caught fish at borders. They also are calling for seafood restaurants and supermarkets to demand more accountability from their suppliers. This is according to Ben DiPietro, reporting for the Wall Street Journal.

But the findings don't have everyone in the seafood industry convinced that more regulation is the answer.

"If they were lobbying for more enforcement, we would be in lockstep," Gavin Gibbons, a spokesperson for leading seafood industry trade group the National Fisheries Institute, tells Actman. "But they're saying drivers are running a stop sign. And it doesn't make sense to put up another stop sign. They're asking for more bureaucracy."

Gibbons says that Oceana's report is misleading. He argues that they only looked at studies that focused on fish that are frequently mislabeled. Lowell, however, says that the report took more than 25,000 fish samples from around the world into account.

"This report reveals that it's a global problem and it's not going to go away on its own," Lowell tells St. Fleur.

The United States government is set to issue new rules regarding fishing regulations by the end of the year.


Imposter Fish: The 7 Most Often Mislabeled Fish at the Market - Recipes

Reports found that critically endangered largetooth sawfish are sometimes passed off as shark in some fish markets. (J. Patrick Fischer via Wikimedia Commons/AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

Assign to Google Classroom

Looking at an array of fish fillets in a local market, it's easy to see how you could accidently mix them up. For instance, it can be hard to tell the difference between catfish and cod.

A recent report, however, has been produced by a seafood industry watchdog organization. The report suggests that a slew of fish identification mix-ups is not accidental. The group has unearthed evidence of fraud. It says fraud is at almost every step of the supply chain. These actions could be putting critically endangered species at risk.

For years, the conservation group Oceana has had its eye on mislabeling in the seafood industry. In the report released in early September, the group examined over 200 studies, news articles and government documents. They were related to mislabeling in the supply chain. This is how fish go from the dock to dinner plates. The group found that an average of one in five fish was intentionally mislabeled at some point in the process. This is according to a report by Nicholas St. Fleur. He is with The New York Times.

"It is likely that the average consumer has eaten mislabeled fish for sure," Beth Lowell said to St. Fleur. She is Oceana's senior campaign director. She also is an author on the report. "You're getting ripped off. While you enjoyed your meal, you're paying a high price for a low fish."

In most cases, Oceana found that cheap, farmed fish, like Asian catfish, were substituted for more expensive fish. Those include perch and grouper. However, the study also suggests that in some cases, critically endangered fish are passed off as food. This was reported by Jani Actman for National Geographic. For example, the group found that the largetooth sawfish, a species of ray, is frequently sold as shark in Brazilian markets. And speckled hind is often mislabeled as grouper in the United States. The report even found one incident of a California sushi restaurant selling meat from endangered sei whales. It was called fatty tuna.

"That endangered seafood item is one fewer individual from that population that is struggling," Oceana senior scientist and study author Kimberly Warner tells Actman.

This doesn't mean that fishermen are necessarily targeting endangered species. For instance, the fish could end up in fishing nets as bycatch. It does, however, raise questions about how the seafood industry should be regulated. Oceana is now calling for the Obama administration to expand proposed rules, requiring better traceability for caught fish at borders. They also are calling for seafood restaurants and supermarkets to demand more accountability from their suppliers. This is according to Ben DiPietro, reporting for the Wall Street Journal.

But the findings don't have everyone in the seafood industry convinced that more regulation is the answer.

"If they were lobbying for more enforcement, we would be in lockstep," Gavin Gibbons, a spokesperson for leading seafood industry trade group the National Fisheries Institute, tells Actman. "But they're saying drivers are running a stop sign. And it doesn't make sense to put up another stop sign. They're asking for more bureaucracy."

Gibbons says that Oceana's report is misleading. He argues that they only looked at studies that focused on fish that are frequently mislabeled. Lowell, however, says that the report took more than 25,000 fish samples from around the world into account.

"This report reveals that it's a global problem and it's not going to go away on its own," Lowell tells St. Fleur.

The United States government is set to issue new rules regarding fishing regulations by the end of the year.


Imposter Fish: The 7 Most Often Mislabeled Fish at the Market - Recipes

Reports found that critically endangered largetooth sawfish are sometimes passed off as shark in some fish markets. (J. Patrick Fischer via Wikimedia Commons/AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

Assign to Google Classroom

Looking at an array of fish fillets in a local market, it's easy to see how you could accidently mix them up. For instance, it can be hard to tell the difference between catfish and cod.

A recent report, however, has been produced by a seafood industry watchdog organization. The report suggests that a slew of fish identification mix-ups is not accidental. The group has unearthed evidence of fraud. It says fraud is at almost every step of the supply chain. These actions could be putting critically endangered species at risk.

For years, the conservation group Oceana has had its eye on mislabeling in the seafood industry. In the report released in early September, the group examined over 200 studies, news articles and government documents. They were related to mislabeling in the supply chain. This is how fish go from the dock to dinner plates. The group found that an average of one in five fish was intentionally mislabeled at some point in the process. This is according to a report by Nicholas St. Fleur. He is with The New York Times.

"It is likely that the average consumer has eaten mislabeled fish for sure," Beth Lowell said to St. Fleur. She is Oceana's senior campaign director. She also is an author on the report. "You're getting ripped off. While you enjoyed your meal, you're paying a high price for a low fish."

In most cases, Oceana found that cheap, farmed fish, like Asian catfish, were substituted for more expensive fish. Those include perch and grouper. However, the study also suggests that in some cases, critically endangered fish are passed off as food. This was reported by Jani Actman for National Geographic. For example, the group found that the largetooth sawfish, a species of ray, is frequently sold as shark in Brazilian markets. And speckled hind is often mislabeled as grouper in the United States. The report even found one incident of a California sushi restaurant selling meat from endangered sei whales. It was called fatty tuna.

"That endangered seafood item is one fewer individual from that population that is struggling," Oceana senior scientist and study author Kimberly Warner tells Actman.

This doesn't mean that fishermen are necessarily targeting endangered species. For instance, the fish could end up in fishing nets as bycatch. It does, however, raise questions about how the seafood industry should be regulated. Oceana is now calling for the Obama administration to expand proposed rules, requiring better traceability for caught fish at borders. They also are calling for seafood restaurants and supermarkets to demand more accountability from their suppliers. This is according to Ben DiPietro, reporting for the Wall Street Journal.

But the findings don't have everyone in the seafood industry convinced that more regulation is the answer.

"If they were lobbying for more enforcement, we would be in lockstep," Gavin Gibbons, a spokesperson for leading seafood industry trade group the National Fisheries Institute, tells Actman. "But they're saying drivers are running a stop sign. And it doesn't make sense to put up another stop sign. They're asking for more bureaucracy."

Gibbons says that Oceana's report is misleading. He argues that they only looked at studies that focused on fish that are frequently mislabeled. Lowell, however, says that the report took more than 25,000 fish samples from around the world into account.

"This report reveals that it's a global problem and it's not going to go away on its own," Lowell tells St. Fleur.

The United States government is set to issue new rules regarding fishing regulations by the end of the year.


Imposter Fish: The 7 Most Often Mislabeled Fish at the Market - Recipes

Reports found that critically endangered largetooth sawfish are sometimes passed off as shark in some fish markets. (J. Patrick Fischer via Wikimedia Commons/AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

Assign to Google Classroom

Looking at an array of fish fillets in a local market, it's easy to see how you could accidently mix them up. For instance, it can be hard to tell the difference between catfish and cod.

A recent report, however, has been produced by a seafood industry watchdog organization. The report suggests that a slew of fish identification mix-ups is not accidental. The group has unearthed evidence of fraud. It says fraud is at almost every step of the supply chain. These actions could be putting critically endangered species at risk.

For years, the conservation group Oceana has had its eye on mislabeling in the seafood industry. In the report released in early September, the group examined over 200 studies, news articles and government documents. They were related to mislabeling in the supply chain. This is how fish go from the dock to dinner plates. The group found that an average of one in five fish was intentionally mislabeled at some point in the process. This is according to a report by Nicholas St. Fleur. He is with The New York Times.

"It is likely that the average consumer has eaten mislabeled fish for sure," Beth Lowell said to St. Fleur. She is Oceana's senior campaign director. She also is an author on the report. "You're getting ripped off. While you enjoyed your meal, you're paying a high price for a low fish."

In most cases, Oceana found that cheap, farmed fish, like Asian catfish, were substituted for more expensive fish. Those include perch and grouper. However, the study also suggests that in some cases, critically endangered fish are passed off as food. This was reported by Jani Actman for National Geographic. For example, the group found that the largetooth sawfish, a species of ray, is frequently sold as shark in Brazilian markets. And speckled hind is often mislabeled as grouper in the United States. The report even found one incident of a California sushi restaurant selling meat from endangered sei whales. It was called fatty tuna.

"That endangered seafood item is one fewer individual from that population that is struggling," Oceana senior scientist and study author Kimberly Warner tells Actman.

This doesn't mean that fishermen are necessarily targeting endangered species. For instance, the fish could end up in fishing nets as bycatch. It does, however, raise questions about how the seafood industry should be regulated. Oceana is now calling for the Obama administration to expand proposed rules, requiring better traceability for caught fish at borders. They also are calling for seafood restaurants and supermarkets to demand more accountability from their suppliers. This is according to Ben DiPietro, reporting for the Wall Street Journal.

But the findings don't have everyone in the seafood industry convinced that more regulation is the answer.

"If they were lobbying for more enforcement, we would be in lockstep," Gavin Gibbons, a spokesperson for leading seafood industry trade group the National Fisheries Institute, tells Actman. "But they're saying drivers are running a stop sign. And it doesn't make sense to put up another stop sign. They're asking for more bureaucracy."

Gibbons says that Oceana's report is misleading. He argues that they only looked at studies that focused on fish that are frequently mislabeled. Lowell, however, says that the report took more than 25,000 fish samples from around the world into account.

"This report reveals that it's a global problem and it's not going to go away on its own," Lowell tells St. Fleur.

The United States government is set to issue new rules regarding fishing regulations by the end of the year.


Imposter Fish: The 7 Most Often Mislabeled Fish at the Market - Recipes

Reports found that critically endangered largetooth sawfish are sometimes passed off as shark in some fish markets. (J. Patrick Fischer via Wikimedia Commons/AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

Assign to Google Classroom

Looking at an array of fish fillets in a local market, it's easy to see how you could accidently mix them up. For instance, it can be hard to tell the difference between catfish and cod.

A recent report, however, has been produced by a seafood industry watchdog organization. The report suggests that a slew of fish identification mix-ups is not accidental. The group has unearthed evidence of fraud. It says fraud is at almost every step of the supply chain. These actions could be putting critically endangered species at risk.

For years, the conservation group Oceana has had its eye on mislabeling in the seafood industry. In the report released in early September, the group examined over 200 studies, news articles and government documents. They were related to mislabeling in the supply chain. This is how fish go from the dock to dinner plates. The group found that an average of one in five fish was intentionally mislabeled at some point in the process. This is according to a report by Nicholas St. Fleur. He is with The New York Times.

"It is likely that the average consumer has eaten mislabeled fish for sure," Beth Lowell said to St. Fleur. She is Oceana's senior campaign director. She also is an author on the report. "You're getting ripped off. While you enjoyed your meal, you're paying a high price for a low fish."

In most cases, Oceana found that cheap, farmed fish, like Asian catfish, were substituted for more expensive fish. Those include perch and grouper. However, the study also suggests that in some cases, critically endangered fish are passed off as food. This was reported by Jani Actman for National Geographic. For example, the group found that the largetooth sawfish, a species of ray, is frequently sold as shark in Brazilian markets. And speckled hind is often mislabeled as grouper in the United States. The report even found one incident of a California sushi restaurant selling meat from endangered sei whales. It was called fatty tuna.

"That endangered seafood item is one fewer individual from that population that is struggling," Oceana senior scientist and study author Kimberly Warner tells Actman.

This doesn't mean that fishermen are necessarily targeting endangered species. For instance, the fish could end up in fishing nets as bycatch. It does, however, raise questions about how the seafood industry should be regulated. Oceana is now calling for the Obama administration to expand proposed rules, requiring better traceability for caught fish at borders. They also are calling for seafood restaurants and supermarkets to demand more accountability from their suppliers. This is according to Ben DiPietro, reporting for the Wall Street Journal.

But the findings don't have everyone in the seafood industry convinced that more regulation is the answer.

"If they were lobbying for more enforcement, we would be in lockstep," Gavin Gibbons, a spokesperson for leading seafood industry trade group the National Fisheries Institute, tells Actman. "But they're saying drivers are running a stop sign. And it doesn't make sense to put up another stop sign. They're asking for more bureaucracy."

Gibbons says that Oceana's report is misleading. He argues that they only looked at studies that focused on fish that are frequently mislabeled. Lowell, however, says that the report took more than 25,000 fish samples from around the world into account.

"This report reveals that it's a global problem and it's not going to go away on its own," Lowell tells St. Fleur.

The United States government is set to issue new rules regarding fishing regulations by the end of the year.


Imposter Fish: The 7 Most Often Mislabeled Fish at the Market - Recipes

Reports found that critically endangered largetooth sawfish are sometimes passed off as shark in some fish markets. (J. Patrick Fischer via Wikimedia Commons/AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

Assign to Google Classroom

Looking at an array of fish fillets in a local market, it's easy to see how you could accidently mix them up. For instance, it can be hard to tell the difference between catfish and cod.

A recent report, however, has been produced by a seafood industry watchdog organization. The report suggests that a slew of fish identification mix-ups is not accidental. The group has unearthed evidence of fraud. It says fraud is at almost every step of the supply chain. These actions could be putting critically endangered species at risk.

For years, the conservation group Oceana has had its eye on mislabeling in the seafood industry. In the report released in early September, the group examined over 200 studies, news articles and government documents. They were related to mislabeling in the supply chain. This is how fish go from the dock to dinner plates. The group found that an average of one in five fish was intentionally mislabeled at some point in the process. This is according to a report by Nicholas St. Fleur. He is with The New York Times.

"It is likely that the average consumer has eaten mislabeled fish for sure," Beth Lowell said to St. Fleur. She is Oceana's senior campaign director. She also is an author on the report. "You're getting ripped off. While you enjoyed your meal, you're paying a high price for a low fish."

In most cases, Oceana found that cheap, farmed fish, like Asian catfish, were substituted for more expensive fish. Those include perch and grouper. However, the study also suggests that in some cases, critically endangered fish are passed off as food. This was reported by Jani Actman for National Geographic. For example, the group found that the largetooth sawfish, a species of ray, is frequently sold as shark in Brazilian markets. And speckled hind is often mislabeled as grouper in the United States. The report even found one incident of a California sushi restaurant selling meat from endangered sei whales. It was called fatty tuna.

"That endangered seafood item is one fewer individual from that population that is struggling," Oceana senior scientist and study author Kimberly Warner tells Actman.

This doesn't mean that fishermen are necessarily targeting endangered species. For instance, the fish could end up in fishing nets as bycatch. It does, however, raise questions about how the seafood industry should be regulated. Oceana is now calling for the Obama administration to expand proposed rules, requiring better traceability for caught fish at borders. They also are calling for seafood restaurants and supermarkets to demand more accountability from their suppliers. This is according to Ben DiPietro, reporting for the Wall Street Journal.

But the findings don't have everyone in the seafood industry convinced that more regulation is the answer.

"If they were lobbying for more enforcement, we would be in lockstep," Gavin Gibbons, a spokesperson for leading seafood industry trade group the National Fisheries Institute, tells Actman. "But they're saying drivers are running a stop sign. And it doesn't make sense to put up another stop sign. They're asking for more bureaucracy."

Gibbons says that Oceana's report is misleading. He argues that they only looked at studies that focused on fish that are frequently mislabeled. Lowell, however, says that the report took more than 25,000 fish samples from around the world into account.

"This report reveals that it's a global problem and it's not going to go away on its own," Lowell tells St. Fleur.

The United States government is set to issue new rules regarding fishing regulations by the end of the year.


Imposter Fish: The 7 Most Often Mislabeled Fish at the Market - Recipes

Reports found that critically endangered largetooth sawfish are sometimes passed off as shark in some fish markets. (J. Patrick Fischer via Wikimedia Commons/AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

Assign to Google Classroom

Looking at an array of fish fillets in a local market, it's easy to see how you could accidently mix them up. For instance, it can be hard to tell the difference between catfish and cod.

A recent report, however, has been produced by a seafood industry watchdog organization. The report suggests that a slew of fish identification mix-ups is not accidental. The group has unearthed evidence of fraud. It says fraud is at almost every step of the supply chain. These actions could be putting critically endangered species at risk.

For years, the conservation group Oceana has had its eye on mislabeling in the seafood industry. In the report released in early September, the group examined over 200 studies, news articles and government documents. They were related to mislabeling in the supply chain. This is how fish go from the dock to dinner plates. The group found that an average of one in five fish was intentionally mislabeled at some point in the process. This is according to a report by Nicholas St. Fleur. He is with The New York Times.

"It is likely that the average consumer has eaten mislabeled fish for sure," Beth Lowell said to St. Fleur. She is Oceana's senior campaign director. She also is an author on the report. "You're getting ripped off. While you enjoyed your meal, you're paying a high price for a low fish."

In most cases, Oceana found that cheap, farmed fish, like Asian catfish, were substituted for more expensive fish. Those include perch and grouper. However, the study also suggests that in some cases, critically endangered fish are passed off as food. This was reported by Jani Actman for National Geographic. For example, the group found that the largetooth sawfish, a species of ray, is frequently sold as shark in Brazilian markets. And speckled hind is often mislabeled as grouper in the United States. The report even found one incident of a California sushi restaurant selling meat from endangered sei whales. It was called fatty tuna.

"That endangered seafood item is one fewer individual from that population that is struggling," Oceana senior scientist and study author Kimberly Warner tells Actman.

This doesn't mean that fishermen are necessarily targeting endangered species. For instance, the fish could end up in fishing nets as bycatch. It does, however, raise questions about how the seafood industry should be regulated. Oceana is now calling for the Obama administration to expand proposed rules, requiring better traceability for caught fish at borders. They also are calling for seafood restaurants and supermarkets to demand more accountability from their suppliers. This is according to Ben DiPietro, reporting for the Wall Street Journal.

But the findings don't have everyone in the seafood industry convinced that more regulation is the answer.

"If they were lobbying for more enforcement, we would be in lockstep," Gavin Gibbons, a spokesperson for leading seafood industry trade group the National Fisheries Institute, tells Actman. "But they're saying drivers are running a stop sign. And it doesn't make sense to put up another stop sign. They're asking for more bureaucracy."

Gibbons says that Oceana's report is misleading. He argues that they only looked at studies that focused on fish that are frequently mislabeled. Lowell, however, says that the report took more than 25,000 fish samples from around the world into account.

"This report reveals that it's a global problem and it's not going to go away on its own," Lowell tells St. Fleur.

The United States government is set to issue new rules regarding fishing regulations by the end of the year.


Imposter Fish: The 7 Most Often Mislabeled Fish at the Market - Recipes

Reports found that critically endangered largetooth sawfish are sometimes passed off as shark in some fish markets. (J. Patrick Fischer via Wikimedia Commons/AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

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Looking at an array of fish fillets in a local market, it's easy to see how you could accidently mix them up. For instance, it can be hard to tell the difference between catfish and cod.

A recent report, however, has been produced by a seafood industry watchdog organization. The report suggests that a slew of fish identification mix-ups is not accidental. The group has unearthed evidence of fraud. It says fraud is at almost every step of the supply chain. These actions could be putting critically endangered species at risk.

For years, the conservation group Oceana has had its eye on mislabeling in the seafood industry. In the report released in early September, the group examined over 200 studies, news articles and government documents. They were related to mislabeling in the supply chain. This is how fish go from the dock to dinner plates. The group found that an average of one in five fish was intentionally mislabeled at some point in the process. This is according to a report by Nicholas St. Fleur. He is with The New York Times.

"It is likely that the average consumer has eaten mislabeled fish for sure," Beth Lowell said to St. Fleur. She is Oceana's senior campaign director. She also is an author on the report. "You're getting ripped off. While you enjoyed your meal, you're paying a high price for a low fish."

In most cases, Oceana found that cheap, farmed fish, like Asian catfish, were substituted for more expensive fish. Those include perch and grouper. However, the study also suggests that in some cases, critically endangered fish are passed off as food. This was reported by Jani Actman for National Geographic. For example, the group found that the largetooth sawfish, a species of ray, is frequently sold as shark in Brazilian markets. And speckled hind is often mislabeled as grouper in the United States. The report even found one incident of a California sushi restaurant selling meat from endangered sei whales. It was called fatty tuna.

"That endangered seafood item is one fewer individual from that population that is struggling," Oceana senior scientist and study author Kimberly Warner tells Actman.

This doesn't mean that fishermen are necessarily targeting endangered species. For instance, the fish could end up in fishing nets as bycatch. It does, however, raise questions about how the seafood industry should be regulated. Oceana is now calling for the Obama administration to expand proposed rules, requiring better traceability for caught fish at borders. They also are calling for seafood restaurants and supermarkets to demand more accountability from their suppliers. This is according to Ben DiPietro, reporting for the Wall Street Journal.

But the findings don't have everyone in the seafood industry convinced that more regulation is the answer.

"If they were lobbying for more enforcement, we would be in lockstep," Gavin Gibbons, a spokesperson for leading seafood industry trade group the National Fisheries Institute, tells Actman. "But they're saying drivers are running a stop sign. And it doesn't make sense to put up another stop sign. They're asking for more bureaucracy."

Gibbons says that Oceana's report is misleading. He argues that they only looked at studies that focused on fish that are frequently mislabeled. Lowell, however, says that the report took more than 25,000 fish samples from around the world into account.

"This report reveals that it's a global problem and it's not going to go away on its own," Lowell tells St. Fleur.

The United States government is set to issue new rules regarding fishing regulations by the end of the year.


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