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A Not-So-Fine Kettle of Fish
updated: Jan 11, 2017, 10:12 AM

Source: University of California Santa Barbara

That spicy tuna roll you order at your favorite sushi restaurant may not be tuna at all. And the yellowtail? It could be something else entirely. In fact, according to a new study, as much as half of nine types of fish sold in Los Angeles-area sushi restaurants may be mislabeled, despite tougher laws and increased media scrutiny in recent years.

The marine scientists from UC Santa Barbara's National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS), UCLA, Loyola Marymount University and UC Santa Cruz used DNA markers to identify seafood mislabeling over a four-year period at 26 restaurants and three high-end grocery stores in the greater Los Angeles area. Their findings appear in the journal Conservation Biology.

"The results of this study raise new questions about the efficacy of efforts intended to stem seafood fraud," said co-author Samantha Cheng, a postdoctoral fellow at NCEAS who conducted the research as part of her graduate studies at UCLA. "Time and again, we found one variety or even an entirely different species to be labeled as a different, more commonly known or popular fish."

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