A new global report by Oceana.org that dove head first into the deep end of fraudulent seafood trade found that roughly one-fifth of all seafood ordered at restaurants is not the fish it purports to be. Meaning that one in every five times you order fish at a restaurant, let’s call it Red Grouper, you are going to get a fish that is not red grouper.
This one-fifth stat isn’t even close to the most alarming finding the report though so let’s check out some of the results published over on Oceana:
— A sushi restaurant in Santa Monica, California was found to be selling meat from an endangered Sei Whale as ‘fatty tuna’.
— 55% of ‘shark’ samples tested in Brazil were actually from the largetooth sawfish, a critically endangered species.
— In Chicago, 16 of 52 samples tested were mislabeled and the restaurants were peddling cheaper fish as more expensive species.
— In Brussels, 98% of the ‘bluefin tuna’ tuna samples tested weren’t bluefin tuna at all.
— Of 27 ‘caviar’ samples tested around the Black Sea, 10 were fraudulent and 3 of those samples were found to contain ZERO animal DNA at all.
— 82% of the ‘grouper, perch, and swordfish’ samples tested were found to be mislabeled/fraudulent nearly half of those fraudulent samples were found to be from threatened species.
This, my bros, is a pretty damn disturbing study.
I’m not even sure where to direct my outrage here. I can be pissed at the restaurants for fraudulently serving me fish I didn’t order and over-charging me for expensive species and serving me trash fish. I AM pissed at the crooked Thai fishing industry that allows this to happen, each year driving down the global fish stocks while laughing in the face of all sustainability efforts.
I’m not saying you should stop ordering seafood at restaurants if you don’t want to get ripped off because you’re often still being served exactly what you ordered. But, you should at least gravitate towards restaurants who appear to make an actual effort towards sustainability, because these are the ones most likely to have relationships with their local commercial fishermen and probably saw that fish come in whole.
Now, if you are into seafood and are looking to branch out and try some new things I’ve thrown together this list of the 25 Best Tasting Fish in the World for you bros. So check that out, go to your local seafood market and buy your fish whole.