Updated 12/11/2012 04:01 PM
Seafood Labeling Among City Sellers Fishy, Group Finds
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Seafood sellers here in the city are baiting customers with fraudulent fish.
Environmental group Oceana tested 142 seafood samples from grocery stores, restaurants and sushi venues mainly in Manhattan.
The investigation found 39 percent of the fish was mislabeled.
Ninety-four percent of white tuna sold was actually escolar -- a snake mackerel that people often have trouble digesting.
One retailer sold tilefish as red snapper and halibut, even though it's on the FDA's do-not-eat list because of its high mercury content.
Researchers say all of the 16 sushi bars they visited sold some mislabeled fish.
The Restaurant Association says even to the trained eye it can be difficult to tell the difference between some types of fish and restaurants need to depend on their distributors.
It's not known at what point in the food chain the mislabeling occurred.
Oceana says that the problem is widespread, not just in the city. It's calling on the federal government to take action.
The venues selected for this study were based on reviews on Yelp and other websites.
If you'd like to learn more you can log on to the Oceana website at Oceana.org.