Three in five New York City restaurants and grocery stores that sell seafood have reportedly mislabeled part of their stock, often substituting varieties that could cause health problems, according to a new study.
According to the study released by the ocean conservation group Oceana, only 39 percent of the fish obtained were accurately identified.
Other findings are listed below:
-58 percent of the 81 retail outlets sampled sold mislabeled fish (three in five).
-Small markets had significantly higher fraud (40 percent) than national chain grocery stores (12 percent).
-100 percent of the 16 sushi bars tested sold mislabeled fish.
-Tilefish, on the FDA’s do-not-eat list because of its high mercury content,1 was substituted for red snapper and halibut in a small market.
-94 percent of the “white tuna” was not tuna at all, but escolar, a snake mackerel that has a toxin with purgative effects for people who eat more than a small amount of the fish.
-Thirteen different types of fish were sold as “red snapper,” including tilapia, white bass,
goldbanded jobfish, tilefish, porgy/seabream, ocean perch and other less valuable snappers.
New York’s rate of seafood mishandling was higher than Miami’s (31 percent) but lower than that of Boston (48 percent) and Los Angeles (55 percent), according to recent Oceana investigations.