The report highlights pangasius — a type of Asian catfish — as emblematic of the ways that the seafood fraud is being committed. It's regularly used to stand in for higher-value fish. As you can see in the chart above, it's globally used as a replacement for many different fish, like grouper and perch.
"The path seafood travels from the fishing boat or farm to our dinner plates is long, complex and non-transparent, rife with opportunities for fraud and mislabeling," said Oceana senior campaign director Beth Lowell. "American consumers deserve to know more about their seafood, including what kind of fish it is, how and where it was caught or farmed, and they should be able to trust the information is accurate."
The study is accompanied by an interactive map that details various findings in the studies. It includes some horrible revelations, like that one study found 77 percent of red snapper in Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Wisconsin wasn't actually red snapper. 77 percent. What the hell?
A separate study in Chicago looked at red snapper from 13 different restaurants and found that none of the dishes served actually contained red snapper. None. What the hell? The study contacted each of the restaurants about the mislabeling. "Restaurants either 'didn't know' it was a different species or intentionally labeled it 'red snapper' because customers do not recognize or ask for sea bream."
It makes you wonder if those Swedish Fish Oreos are actually made with catfish.