Conservationist group Oceana has issued a report purportedly finding that 43 percent of salmon samples purchased from U.S. restaurants and grocery stores were mislabeled. As a follow-up to a larger study, Oceana researchers DNA tested 82 salmon samples and compared them to the names under which restaurants and grocers sold them. Of the 32 salmon samples sold as "wild salmon," the tests indicated 69 percent were farmed; "Alaskan" or "Pacific" salmon was also likely to be mislabeled, with five of the nine samples discovered to be farmed Atlantic salmon. Large grocery stores were most likely to advertise their products correctly, while restaurants mislabeled 67 percent of fish offerings. The report further notes that salmon sold out-of-season was much more likely to be mislabeled.
“The federal government should provide consumers with assurances that the seafood they purchase is safe, legally caught and honestly labeled,” Beth Lowell, senior campaign director at Oceana, said in an October 28, 2015, press release. “Traceability needs to be required for all seafood to ensure important information about which species it is, whether it was farmed or wild caught, and how and where it was caught follows all seafood from boat (or farm) to plate. Providing consumers with more information about their seafood allows them to make more informed decisions, whether it is for health, economic or environmental reasons.”