The Beacon

Blog Tags: Fort Lauderdale

New Report: Seafood Fraud in South Florida

sushi

58% of samples from sushi vendors in South Florida were mislabeled ©Wikimedia Commons

How would you feel if you found out the red snapper on your plate wasn’t red snapper at all, but instead something illegally fished or potentially unhealthy? A new Oceana study found that 31% of seafood we tested in South Florida is mislabeled, keeping consumers in the dark about what they’re really eating.

Our campaigners used DNA testing on seafood samples from grocery stores, restaurants, and sushi venues in the Miami/Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach areas. We’ve conducted studies like this in other cities, and the results from Los Angeles and Boston were even more striking—55% of seafood in L.A. was mislabeled and 48% in Boston.

But just because the numbers are lower in South Florida doesn’t mean that seafood fraud is any more acceptable. Some of the fish being served under a different name pose risks to health and sustainability. The study found that king mackerel, a high mercury fish with a health warning for sensitive groups, was being marketed as ‘grouper.’

Sushi restaurants were the biggest offenders, with 58% of samples found to be mislabeled. All the samples of white tuna collected from sushi vendors were actually escolar, a fish species that can make people sick.

The large amount of seafood coming into the U.S. market can make it difficult to trace each item to its source. Oceana is calling on the federal government to ensure that the seafood we find in our markets is safe, legal, and honestly labeled. By implementing a traceability system, consumers can make informed decisions about what they put on their plate.

Sign the petition to fight seafood fraud and ensure you’re getting what you order.


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Join Us for SeaBlue on March 3

Looking for an excuse to celebrate the oceans this winter? Look no further. On March 3, we are holding our inaugural SeaBlue benefit event in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and you are invited!

SeaBlue will feature a musical performance by The Honey Brothers with Oceana Ambassador Adrian Grenier, and Alexandra Cousteau and World Champion Freediver Martin Stepanek will also be in attendance.

The benefit, co-chaired by philanthropic leaders Senta Monet Mackel and Louise Storelli Fogarty, will be hosted at the award-winning W Fort Lauderdale. Guests will be treated to an evening of hors d’oeuvres, cocktails and dancing in an underwater world created by Chris Cruz of Emagination.

SeaBlue is made possible by the generous support of our sponsors and underwriters, including W Fort Lauderdale, Discovery Channel’s Shark Week, LiveESP.com, Wells Fargo, Bacardi U.S.A. and Emagination.

You can purchase tickets at www.seablueevent.org, and please spread the word!


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And They’re Off!

I’m happy to report that the Oceana Latitude officially set sail yesterday evening for the Gulf of Mexico out of Fort Lauderdale!

The first stop will be Key West, where the Oceana crew will work with the ROV and specialized divers to document bottom habitat and other marine life that could be in danger if oil is captured by sea currents and transported towards southern Florida or if another oil spill occurs in this area in the future.

Here’s Oceana chief scientist Mike Hirshfield:

Dr. Michael Hirshfield about Oceana Latitude Setting Sail from Oceana on Vimeo.

 

 

 


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