Seafood fraud is most often driven by economic gain, although some mislabelling may result from human error. Cheap or more readily available species are mislabelled so they can be sold as expensive, desirable or supply-limited ones. So when you fork out big money for seabass, what you’re actually getting could be far cheaper catfish. And that’s just one example.
In 74 per cent of instances of mislabelling (124 out of 168 samples) that Oceana Canada uncovered, the fish listed on the menu or the label was a more expensive variety than the fish actually being sold. By undercutting prices for responsibly caught seafood, these low-cost substitutions cheat consumers and hurt the honest fishers and seafood businesses who play by the rules.