In this national investigation, Oceana Canada purchased seafood samples from grocery stores, market vendors and restaurants in five cities across Canada. The particular venues were chosen based on their location, popularity and menus. In some areas, targeting was based on proximity to government offices and media headquarters. (For the complete analysis, visit Oceana.ca/SeafoodFraudCanada.)
Each sample was sent to TRU-ID, a commercial lab in Guelph, Ontario, that uses DNA barcoding to determine the species of fish. Once that identity was determined, it was compared to the acceptable market name(s) specified in CFIA’s Fish List. This is the same methodology used by CFIA in their own studies of seafood mislabelling, as well as by previous studies across Canada.22 Samples were considered mislabelled when the name of the sample was not an acceptable market name for the given species, when an acceptable market name was not used or when the species was not found on the Fish List.