In the report, Oceana reviewed more than 200 published studies from 55 countries, on every continent except for Antarctica. The studies found seafood fraud present in each investigation with only one exception.
The studies reviewed also found seafood mislabeling in every sector of the seafood supply chain: retail, wholesale, distribution, import/export, packaging/processing and landing.
The report comes as ocean leaders from all over the world prepare to gather in Washington, DC for the Our Ocean Conference next week.
Earlier this year, the President’s Task Force on Combating Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing and Seafood Fraud released a proposed rule to address these issues that would require traceability for 13 “at-risk” types of seafood from the fishing boat or farm to the U.S. border. Oceana contends that while this is a good step forward, the government needs to expand the final rule to include all seafood species sold in the U.S. and extend it throughout the entire supply chain, from boat or farm to plate.
“Without tracking all seafood throughout the entire supply chain, consumers will continue to be cheated, hardworking, honest fishermen will be undercut and the long-term productivity of our oceans will continue to be in jeopardy. It’s clear that seafood fraud respects no borders,” said Oceana senior campaign director Beth Lowell.
“The path seafood travels from the fishing boat or farm to our dinner plates is long, complex and non-transparent, rife with opportunities for fraud and mislabeling. American consumers deserve to know more about their seafood, including what kind of fish it is, how and where it was caught or farmed, and they should be able to trust the information is accurate. The fight against seafood fraud must include all seafood and extend from boat to plate.”