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Blog Tags: Pufferfish

Ocean Roundup: Mechanisms behind Pufferfish Inflation Discovered, Critical Habitat Proposed for Ringed Seals, and More

New research shows how pufferfish inflate

The black saddled pufferfish (Canthigaster valentini). (Photo: Cliff / WikiMedia Commons)

- New research shows that healthy coral reef systems are actually quite noisy, but are quieting down after damage from acidification, harmful fishing practices, pollution, and more. Researchers looked at coral reefs in the Philippines and found that noise stemming from unprotected reefs was about a third of that in healthy reef communities. Grist


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Senator Calls for FDA Crackdown on Seafood Fraud

Yesterday, in a letter to Food and Drug Administration commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg, U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) urged the agency for stricter oversight and enforcement of seafood fraud, highlighting the investigative work of Oceana, writing:

“It is unacceptable that proven fraud is occurring on such a widespread basis. Seafood fraud is not only deceptive marketing, but it can also pose serious health concerns, particularly for pregnant women seeking to limit exposure to heavy metals or individuals with serious allergies to certain types of fish.

Recent studies suggest how pervasive the problem of seafood fraud has become in the United States. Since 2011, Oceana has collected fish samples from numerous grocery stores, restaurants, and sushi venues in different metropolitan areas and has had them genetically tested to determine their composition. In Miami and Fort Lauderdale, 31 percent of the seafood tested by the group was found to be mislabeled. In Los Angeles and Orange counties, 55 percent of the seafood tested was mislabeled.

In the video above, Oceana’s Northeast representative Gib Brogan talks with the Boston Globe about an investigation of Massachusetts restaurants, grocery stores and fish markets. Testing by the Globe revealed that 48 percent of 183 samples were not the same species of fish as advertised. Oftentimes cheaper alternatives were swapped for higher-priced fish.

But seafood fraud is not only a pocketbook issue. It can be harmful, even deadly to consumers. Starting in 2006, 282 22-pound boxes labeled “monkfish” were imported from China to the U.S. through California and distributed to wholesalers in Illinois, California and Hawaii. In fact, the boxes were filled with pufferfish, containing the deadly neurotoxin tetrodotoxin. Pufferfish can be lethal if not prepared correctly and a woman in Chicago became severely ill from eating the mislabeled fish.

You can read Senator Boxer’s entire letter here and you can tell the FDA to crack down on seafood fraud too by signing our petition. Stay tuned!


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