In 2017, Oceana Canada investigated seafood fraud in our nation’s capital, targeting restaurants and grocery stores near Parliament Hill that are popular among politicians and decision-makers. As previously reported in Seafood Fraud and Mislabelling in Ottawa,17 nearly half of the samples tested (45 out of 98) were mislabelled.
Sixty-nine per cent of the substituted samples (31 out of 45) were cheaper varieties than the fish named on the label or menu, including farmed Atlantic salmon sold as wild salmon; southern blue whiting sold as cod; and cod sold as the more expensive European bass.
Fifty-three per cent of those substitutions (24 samples) have potential health implications, including Asian catfish sold as sole; escolar sold as white tuna or butterfish; and tilapia sold as white fish or snapper.
Oceana Canada’s Ottawa investigation revealed several examples of species at risk. One mislabelled sample turned out to be white hake, an endangered species. Two other samples were near-threatened fish: lane snapper and spinycheek grouper.