SEP 21, 2016 11:16 AM PDT

Are You Eating Endangered Fish?

There are government regulations to protect endangered species of fish from being processed by fisheries and then sold in markets to end up in your main dish, but there are some caveats that still put these fish at risk.
 

Despite laws that protext endangered fish from being caught and sold, many fish species are mislabeled and slip through the cracks.

 Image Credit: Oceana

In most cases, endangered fish are caught by accident as bycatch and are then mislabeled by someone who doesn’t know any better, but in other situations, endangered fish are caught illegally and then mislabeled on purpose to try and get around the system made to protect the species.
 
In either case, the fish then go through the same processing as any other and end up in your local food stores, a new study from Oceana points out. The study took a look at 55 countries around the world and found fish fraud in each and every one of them, except one.
 
In total, around 28% of the world’s fish food source is believed to be mislabeled, and up to 16% of that number are believed to be endangered species of fish.
 
“It is likely that the average consumer has eaten mislabeled fish for sure,” said Beth Lowell, Oceana’s senior campaign director and an author of the study. “You’re getting ripped off, while you enjoyed your meal you’re paying a high price for a low fish.”

As you can imagine, this poses several problems, the first being that it’s putting a dent into the numbers of the fish we’re trying to conserve, but the other being that some people have allergies to certain kinds of fish and mislabeling it could be a health hazard for consumers.
 
What kinds of fish get mislabeled? Well you could say almost all, but some of the most prominent are fishing being called grouper when they’re really not. Up to 82% of the grouper, perch, and swordfish that were sampled in markets around the world were mislabeled and were really something else.
 
Although Oceana sets a strong argument, there are, of course, critics who think the entire report is misleading and believe that the 28% figure is false. Nevertheless, they went around the world and took samples and have proved that mislabeled fish is still a problem. Whether or not the 28% figure is right or not, 1 out 5 fish sampled in 25,000 samples was mislabeled, and that’s huge.
 
It goes without saying there’s a problem with the current fishing regulations in place around the world since such a high number of fish go mislabeled. The United States will reportedly look into modifying its regulations for fishing before the end of 2016 to address these problems head-on.
 
Source: National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, Oceana

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
SEP 05, 2018
Plants & Animals
SEP 05, 2018
Bigger Birds Dominate Food Sources, Study Finds
Setting out bird feeders stocked with fresh seeds is a common practice among bird lovers and nature appreciators. But would you actually be doing local bir...
SEP 24, 2018
Plants & Animals
SEP 24, 2018
All-Female Termite Colonies Observed for the First Time
In the case of most animal species, it takes both a male and a female for reproduction to take place. But a few exceptions to this rule do indeed exist, pa...
OCT 01, 2018
Plants & Animals
OCT 01, 2018
Plants Thicken Their Leaves in Response to High CO2 Levels, and That's Bad
Earth’s plants and animals form a symbiotic relationship. As plants convert atmospheric carbon dioxide into oxygen, animal respiration then turns it...
OCT 29, 2018
Plants & Animals
OCT 29, 2018
Elephants Compress Small Food Bits With Their Trunks Before Picking it Up
It’s no mystery that elephants use their versatile trunks to grab food and stuff it in their mouths; this behavior is frequently seen in nature as th...
NOV 12, 2018
Plants & Animals
NOV 12, 2018
Steaks Aren't the Only Things We Get From Cows
It’s no secret that cows are routinely slaughtered for beef, but what if we told you that only about 60% of the cow gets harvested for food? Fret not...
NOV 13, 2018
Plants & Animals
NOV 13, 2018
Conservation Efforts Are Helping Amazon Turtle Populations Bounce Back
It’s not too often that conservationists get the chance to share a successful conservation story, but as it would seem, nearly 40 years’ worth...
Loading Comments...