Some Metro Vancouver restaurants pulling the bait and switch on fish
Where's the cod? DNA tests reveal sushi and other seafood sold may not be as advertised
By Larry Pynn, Vancouver Sun June 4, 2009 Comments (100)
METRO VANCOUVER — More than one-quarter of 21 retail fish samples analysed for DNA in Metro Vancouver were mislabelled, an investigation by The Vancouver Sun and the University of Guelph has revealed.
Two cases involved the use of cheaper products as cod at fish-and-chip outlets: Coney Island Seafood on Marine Drive in White Rock sold Southeast Asian catfish, a species known to be raised in aquaculture; and Speeds Pub in Ladner sold pollock.
Tests at sushi restaurants produced similar results: the high-end Takumi Japanese Restaurant in West Vancouver sold bastard halibut (a flounder) as halibut sushi, while Bon Sushi in Surrey near White Rock sold hake as crabmeat.
All four cases violated the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s list of acceptable common names for labelling of fish. In two other cases — red snapper fillets from Superior Fish in Ladner and rock cod fillets from T & T Supermarket in Chinatown in Vancouver — were technically mislabelled, but did involve the sale of taxonomically similar fish from the same genus.
Superior’s red snapper was identified as Sebastes babcocki (properly marketed under names such as Pacific snapper and redbanded rockfish) but not recognized by CFIA as red snapper. Two closely related species, Sebastes ruberrimus and Sebastes reedi, are allowed as red snapper.