The Washington Post ran a story on the widespread epidemic of mislabeled fish throughout the country, and lo and behold, Pennsylvania landed the top spot with a whopping 56% of our fish being wrongly identified. Among the offending fish fakers, 95% of the sushi joints investigated were guilty of mislabeling, and snapper wasn't truly snapper 97% of the time people ordered it. Got all that? Good.
Of course, purveyors, fisherman, and restaurateurs are all pointing the finger at each other for where the "errors" are occurring, but the bottom line is that we're all being suckered, and it's all about passing off cheap fish in place of the good stuff. The government is finally stepping in and launching a traceability program that will allow customers to log in to a website and find out what and where these fish are truly coming from.
Some sushi chefs are making up new names for fish flown in from Japan that aren't well known in the U.S. in hopes of making them a marketing sensation. An example of this practice is passing off escolar as "white tuna," which isn't so much a fish as it's a descriptive name for albacore sold in a can. Escolar can cause diarrhea when consumed in large amounts. Be careful out there.