Statement from the National Fisheries Institute

1. With fish fraud seemingly so prevalent these days, what is the restaurant industry doing to ensure that the fish they purchase is actually what it is supposed to be?

Members of the National Restaurant Association have partnered with the Better Seafood Board to ensure the seafood their members put on their menu is fairly and accurately labeled. The memorandum of understanding provides for menu audits and gives restaurateurs a place to report suspected seafood fraud. This type of cooperation ultimately strengthens consumer trust in establishments that are using all available resources to ensure an honest value chain.

2. Is there testing done anywhere along the supply chain that verifies the species of fish being sold and advertised is actually what is being purchased from fishers, suppliers etc.?

Yes. There is testing done throughout the seafood value chain. DNA testing is common among producers, processors, and distributors. And it’s not just reserved for industry. Regulators, like the FDA, test as well. In fact, the FDA’s DNA testing of fish at wholesale found 85 percent labeled correctly. Vigilance in the marketplace is an important part of stamping out fish fraud.

3. Is there a standard for what percent of a fish patty must be made of fish?

There is no single standard of identity as “fish patty” recipes vary. But FDA’s labeling regulations regarding product name and ingredient lists are strict and inform buyers, suppliers, and consumers about what it is they are getting.

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