Oceana investigates seafood fraud


SeafoodSource staff

Published on
August 23, 2012

The braised chunk of fish labeled "Local Halibut Filet" at a posh San Francisco restaurant where a group of food sleuths were eating looked appetizing, but the first two bites were forked into a little plastic container filled with a preservative salt concoction.

Later that day, Geoff Shester, California program director for the nonprofit group Oceana, would send the preserved morsels, along with more than 30 other samples taken from a variety of San Francisco restaurants, to a laboratory for DNA testing.

The idea, he said, is to find out whether the halibut - plus the sand dabs, Pacific snapper, wild sturgeon and other fish sold at local restaurants - was actually what the menu said it was and determine if, as advertised, the seafood was really wild and local or if it was shipped from a fish farm.

It is now possible to determine exactly what species is being served at the local fish shack, thanks to recent advances in genetic sequencing. Oceana, a group dedicated to preserving the ocean ecosystem, is testing fish nationwide to find out whether seafood fraud is as widespread as some people think it is.

Click here to read the full story from San Francisco Gate >

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