Report Finds Seafood Fraud Is Dangerous, And Still Running Rampant

Source: National Geographic/Sarah Gibbens

Photo: Florian Metzner/Unsplash


If you order a filet of snapper at a restaurant, you probably expect to be served snapper. But a new report suggests there’s a strong chance you’ll be getting something else.

Oceana, a marine conservation nonprofit with a recent history of studying seafood mislabeling, today published a new report on the state of seafood fraud in the U.S.

They found that 20 percent of the 449 fish they tested were incorrectly labeled. Orders of sea bass were often replaced by giant perch, Alaskan halibut by Greenland turbot, and Florida snapper by lavender jobfish, to name a few.

Oceana made headlines in 2016 by publishing a report finding massive seafood fraud on a global scale. Since then, NOAA created the Seafood Import Monitoring Program (SIMP), to track 13 species deemed at high risk of being fraudulently sold or sourced illegally.

None of the 13 SIMP monitored species were sampled.

“We wanted to highlight that there are other species other than the high-risk species,” says Kimberly Warner, a senior scientist at Oceana and one of the report’s authors.

To get a snapshot of how widespread the issue is, Oceana’s employees and volunteers took fish samples from 24 different states and the District of Columbia.

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Photo: Florian Metzner/Unsplash

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