Scientists in Ireland have uncovered cases of mistaken fish identity. A quarter of cod and haddock fillets sold in Dublin are neither cod, nor haddock, but completely different species. Anchor Jeb Sharp has details.
JEB SHARP: And now an updated on a story that was in the news last year. That's when scientists in the U.S. conducted genetic tests to identify the type of fish sold in New York restaurants. The researchers discovered that in many cases, about one quarter of the time, the fish being sold was not the species listed on the menu. Well, some scientists in Ireland decided to check up on fish being sold in their country. Stefano Mariani and his colleagues at University College, Dublin visited supermarkets, fish mongers, and fish and chip shops. They analyzed some 150 filets, all were labeled as Cod or Haddock, but Mariani says a quarter of them were not.
STEFANO MARIANI: They were - - and Pollock and some of them were Whiting. On occasions we got Greater Argentine, which is a remarkably different fish and not a particularly prestigious one. So it was basically a little bit like selling cow meat, but calling it chicken and vice versa, really.
SHARP: And when Mariani tested smoked fish, the result were even worse. Nine out of ten samples were mislabeled. But Mariani says it's not all bad news, in fact he's glad that a lot of the fish being sold as Cod, isn't really Cod.
MARIANI: Given that Cod stocks are in such bad state, in many cases it actually is environmentally friendly not to eat Cod. And I would encourage to eat some of the species that were substituted with Cod in our study. In some cases, these are pretty good fish to eat. What should not happen is they are sold as Cod.
SHARP: Mariani doesn't know who is responsible for the mislabeling, whether it is the fish distributors or those who sell fish to consumers. He's still fishing for answers.
Do you enjoy our audio? Please help support it with a donation.