2/21/2013 12:00:00 PM

Something’s Fishy: 1 in 3 Fish Mislabeled at Chicago Restaurants

Mystery fish

Turns out the catch of the day may not be such a catch. Conservancy group Oceana released a report this week that tested samples of seafood served at Chicago area restaurants, retail chains and sushi bars. The results were alarming to anyone who frequently dines on seafood, exposing a common practice of mislabeling fish.

According to the Chicago Tribune, the report stated: “Eight of nine Chicago red snapper samples tested by Oceana turned out to be different fish, the report said. And none of the three yellowtail samples tested was actually yellowtail. Single samples sold as corvina, jack, mackerel and even perch did not match those descriptions, according to Oceana's DNA tests.”

Well, that’s not good. Chicago is not alone in this scandal. The tests were ordered after similar findings were uncovered in cities in the East and West coast. Some good news; none of the samples of salmon, halibut and grouper salmons returned negative for DNA of the proper fish. Some bad news; the most common retailer of mislabeled fish was sushi bars. In 2007, two diners even became ill after consuming puffer fish that was sold as monkfish.

Dirk Fucik, owner of Dirk's Fish and Gourmet Shop, said this is a common practice among those who do not source sustainable fish. "It's unfortunate, but this has been going on in the seafood business for a long time. The U.S. imports about 25 million pounds of a Vietnamese catfish called basa (also called pangasius) every year. When's the last time you saw that on a menu?” Fuick told the Tribune.

Read the full story here.


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