Top Ten Reasons Why Seafood Fraud Hurts Us All

by Catherine Schmitt

10. We can’t trust our food. An estimated 10% of seafood is not the species it is sold or marketed as, and certain species are more likely to be false than others.

9. People are paying for more than they get – maybe 40% of the time.

8. Faking it is easy. Most of the seafood most of us buy and eat is in skinless, boneless, sometimes coated or breaded or otherwise concealed pieces, rather than whole. Processed fish is harder to evaluate “organoleptically.”

7. Exposing seafood fraud has not slowed or stopped the problem.

6. Fraud happens at all stages of the supply chain, which are regulated by different state and federal government entities, making the system hard to fix.

5. The U.S. government and American people are being cheated by people who lie about seafood to avoid tariffs.

4. It takes multiple agencies working within a fragmented and complicated system to identify, stop, and persecute the perpetrators, and there aren’t enough inspectors to stop fraudulent or illegal product from entering the country.

3. When people take fish illegally and lie about it, the entire ocean suffers, as do the people trying hard to protect the ocean.

2. When people overfish and lie about it, they are stealing from future generations.

1. People could get sick or die from an allergic reaction to mislabeled seafood.

Rob Chandler, a buyer with Steve Connolly Seafood, Boston, Mass.
Beth Daley, reporter for the Boston Globe
Ross Lane, NOAA Fisheries Enforcement, Ellsworth, Maine
Steven Wilson, chief quality officer with NOAA, Silver Spring, Maryland

All interviewed at the 2013 Boston Seafood Show.