Nearly 60 per cent of the samples collected in Toronto — 57 out of 96 — were mislabelled. Seventy-three per cent of the substituted samples (41 samples out of 57) were cheaper varieties than the fish named on the label or menu. This includes Atlantic salmon sold as B.C. salmon and Chinook salmon; haddock labelled as Pacific cod; and halibut labelled as sablefish.
Fifty-eight per cent of the substitutions (33 out of 57) have potential health implications, including Asian catfish sold as grouper or sole; tilapia sold as red snapper; and escolar sold as butterfish or white tuna.
All of the 14 snapper samples Oceana Canada collected in Toronto were mislabelled. One of the samples labelled “red snapper” was actually twinspot snapper: a species that has been restricted or banned from sale in certain parts of the world due to its reputation for causing ciguatera poisoning.18