Oceana Seeks to Stop Seafood Fraud

WASHINGTON — Oceana, a non-profit, international advocacy group focused on protecting the world’s oceans, has launched a campaign to “Stop Seafood Fraud.”

During a press briefing at the National Press Club in Washington this week, experts explained how mislabeling fish and falsifying documents continues to threaten some species and defraud retailers, restaurants and consumers.

“Seafood fraud puts consumers and restaurants trying to make honest, eco-friendly choices at a disadvantage,” said Ellen Kassoff Gray, general manager and co-owner of top-tier D.C. restaurants Watershed and Equinox, according to a release. “We need the U.S. government to provide us with the tools to make good decisions for our oceans, our pocketbooks and our health. It’s just good business.”

Therion International, a Saratoga Springs, N.Y.-based company that can identify fish species via DNA testing, has tested over 1,000 samples during the past four years, said William Gergits, co-founder and managing member.

“Results from our DNA lab show that about half the time … the fish you are eating is not the species listed on the menu,” Gergits said.