The investigation focused on types of fish prone to being mislabelled because of their economic value, availability or popularity. Past studies from both Canada and the United States have shown that cod, halibut, snapper, tuna, salmon and sole have the highest rates of species substitution.
Samples of other types of fish, such as yellowtail and butterfish, were also tested in lower numbers, based on menu availabilities and regional differences.
None of the 44 samples of so-called snapper collected turned out to be legitimate, despite the fact that the CFIA Fish List allows over 200 fish species to carry that label. These findings are similar to those of other investigations. For example, a 2013 study in the United States found 87 per cent of “snapper” was mislabelled,2 while a recent study by the University of British Columbia, in which Oceana Canada collaborated, found mislabelling rates of 91 per cent.3