Fish consumers across the United States might be surprised. And we're not talking about established marketing techniques like selling Patagonian Toothfish (Dissostichus eleginoides) under the name of "Chilean Sea bass" in the US.
The advocacy group Oceana recently published the results of a study conducted in New York city that revealed that fish sold to consumers in New York is frequently mislabelled.
The most frequently mislabelled fish in New York was red snapper. Sometimes the red snapper was substituted with a cheaper relative in the snapper family, and sometimes it was substituted with a completely unrelated species like farm-raised tilapia. In some cases, red snapper was also substituted with tilefish. Tilefish is discouraged by the United States FDA for consumption by children and pregnant women due to the high levels of mercury it contains.
According to the study, the highest occurence of mislabelled fish can be found in sushi bars. Restaurants were the second most likely place to find substitutions. Fish sold in grocery stores is more likely to be labelled correctly.
Read the entire Oceana report here.