If you think you are eating tuna sushi, you probably are. If you’ve ordered salmon, though, you’re most likely eating steelhead trout. “Shrimp is shrimp and crab is crab, unless it’s pollock. And don’t trust the white fish. That could be anything: tilapia, something else, who knows,” Slate warns.
People like Standford University marine biologist Steve Palumbi are using molecular forensics to detect imposters in the seafood world. Palumbi has sequenced DNA from fish served in Japanese restaurants to reveal that the so-called legal minke whale on the plate was actually meat from protected species, including baleen whales, such as fin and humpback whales, and dolphins and porpoises.
Other exposes by conservationists and newspapers have shown that nearly 40 percent of fish in New York restaurants are mislabeled, with similar problems in Los Angeles and Boston, Slate reports.