The Beacon

States Begin Taking Seafood Fraud Into Their Own Hands

Coastal states take great pride in providing their consumers with fresh, locally caught seafood. But ask yourself this…how do we know that what’s on the menu is what we’re actually being served?

Last year, Oceana released the results of a nationwide study, which found that 33 percent of the more than 1,200 seafood samples it tested were mislabeled, according to FDA guidelines.

That’s why some states have already begun taking seafood fraud into their own hands. Just last week, state representatives from South Carolina were scheduled to begin discussions about legislation that would prohibit seafood mislabeling and define “local” as seafood caught or grown only in South Carolina, North Carolina, and Georgia. Earlier that same week, Maryland Del. Eric Luedtke introduced a bill that would provide consumers in his state with more information about the seafood they purchase, including restrictions on what can be labeled as “blue crab,” an iconic Maryland species.  

While these are important steps towards stopping seafood mislabeling, Oceana believes that all seafood sold in the U.S. should be traceable from boat to plate, ensuring that it’s safe, legally caught and honestly labeled.

Plain and simple, we deserve to know more about the seafood we order. Knowing important things like what species it is, and where, when and how it was caught, will not only help to protect honest U.S. fishermen and seafood businesses, but also our wallets, health and oceans.

For more information about Oceana’s campaign to Stop Seafood Fraud, please visit www.oceana.org/fraud.

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