Who doesn’t love shrimp? Delicious on salads, sandwiches, and as a main dish, it’s no wonder that it’s the most commonly consumed seafood in the U.S., and the most traded seafood in the world. But, did you know that when you order a shrimp cocktail or shrimp scampi, your “shrimp” could actually be one of dozens of different species of shrimp, as well as domestic or imported, and wild caught or farmed? Most consumers don’t realize that “shrimp” is a highly ambiguous term that refers to different shrimp species of many possible different origins.
Yesterday, Oceana released a new report that uncovered widespread misrepresentation of America’s favorite seafood: shrimp. The report found 30 percent of DNA-tested shrimp samples to be misrepresented—often mislabeled for another species or said to be wild caught when it was farmed—across more than 100 restaurants and grocery stores nationwide.
Today, Oceana released a new study that found shrimp, America’s favorite seafood, to be misrepresented in the United States. In the only known study of its kind in the U.S., DNA testing confirmed that 30 percent of 143 tested shrimp products—found in 111 restaurants and grocery stores—were misrepresented.
- A 16-foot-long baby humpback whale was released after becoming entangled in a net off Queensland, Australia. Humpback whales are currently migrating back to their feeding grounds in Antarctica. ABC Australia
When you go to a restaurant and think you’re ordering a white tuna or filet of wild-caught salmon, there’s a good chance the fish on your dinner plate is not what it seems. Numerous studies have uncovered that seafood fraud—the dishonest practice of swapping one type of seafood for another—occurs on a global scale in all steps of the seafood supply chain. Seafood fraud studies have been undertaken in 29 countries and on all continents except Antarctica, and every study have uncovered seafood fraud to some degree.
A new study conducted by Oceana, the Danish newspaper Søndagsavisen, and the TV program “Go’Aften Denmark” found that there is a high level of sea fraud in Danish markets. The study revealed that 18 percent of cod sold in fishmongers is not cod, but actually haddock or saithe. In total, 120 samples from fishmongers, supermarkets, and restaurants in the wider Copenhagen region underwent DNA analysis.
The House Natural Resources Committee took a significant step forward yesterday in the fight against illegal fishing and seafood fraud, passing the Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing Enforcement Act (H.R. 69) by unanimous consent. It’s now headed to the House floor.
Late last month, the public comment period closed on the President’s Task Force on Combatting Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated Fishing and Seafood Fraud. During the comment period, the Task Force held four public meetings: two webinars and two in-person meetings, one in Seattle, Washington, and one in Washington, D.C. Oceana provided comments at both in-person meetings and submitted written comments as well.
Each month, The Beacon features one Oceana staff member, highlighting their role at Oceana and personal history with the oceans. The month’s spotlight is on Oceana’s seafood fraud senior campaign director, Beth Lowell. Take a look below to learn more, and check out previous staff spotlights here.
In a move that will help to turn the tide on seafood fraud, the California legislature passed a bill (SB 1138) late last Friday evening that will help consumers make more informed purchasing decisions for their health and for the health of our oceans. The Senate passed the bill in a vote of 25-10, directly following passage off the Assembly floor in a vote of 57-15.