"Seafood Fraud Hurts Ocean Conservation: Report"

"U.S. seafood fraud -- where farmed, imported or endangered fish is sold as wild, local and sustainably-managed -- is hurting efforts to preserve ocean diversity, conservation advocates said on Wednesday.

The widespread practice is also hitting consumers who are occasionally sold cheaper or even dangerous products at premium prices, according to the marine conservation group Oceana.

While 84 percent of U.S. seafood is imported, the Food and Drug Administration inspects only 2 percent of imports for health concerns, and less than 0.001 percent of imports for fraud, said Michael Hirshfield, the group's chief scientist.

Seafood fraud can include substituting a common species for a rare one, an endangered species for one that is sustainably managed, a cultivated species for one that is caught in the wild, Hirshfield said at a briefing."

Deborah Zabarenko reports for Reuters May 26, 2011.

Thursday, May 26, 2011