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Results of the Globe’s fish testing

A five-month Globe investigation revealed that Massachusetts consumers routinely, and unwittingly, buy undesirable seafood — or other fish that is simply not what it is advertised to be. Of the 183 samples tested by the Globe, 48 percent were mislabeled. The Globe focused most of its testing on certain species that have been identified by regulators as more likely to be mislabeled.

Results
Correct
Mislabeled
Mislabeled, but FDA plans to change rule

Filter the results by moving or zooming the map

Merchants with mislabeled seafood

Boston

Chinatown
Mislabeled
Item ordered:
Red snapper
DNA result:
Tilapia
Substituted species is...
a cheaper, farmed species, not wild
Store response:
Unsure how substitution occurred
Chinatown
Mislabeled
Item ordered:
White tuna
DNA result:
Escolar
Substituted species is...
a cause of severe gastrointestinal problems
Store response:
Ordered correctly from supplier
Mislabeled
Item ordered:
Red snapper
DNA result:
Tilapia
Substituted species is...
a cheaper, farmed species, not wild
Store response:
Ordered correctly from supplier
Fenway
Mislabeled
Item ordered:
Striped bass
DNA result:
White bass
Substituted species is...
likely a cheaper, hybrid farmed bass
Store response:
Ordered correctly from supplier, planned to change name on menu
Longwood Medical Area
Mislabeled
Item ordered:
Cod
DNA result:
Hake
Substituted species is...
a cheaper species from Southern Africa
Store response:
Switched supplier, now serves Pacific cod at its 90+ restaurants
Dorchester
Mislabeled
Item ordered:
Flounder
DNA result:
Swai
Substituted species is...
a cheaper, farmed species
Store response:
Blamed clerical error
Jamaica Plain
Mislabeled
Item ordered:
Fresh cod
DNA result:
Pacific cod
Substituted species is...
frozen, not local, and a cheaper species
Store response:
Unaware it was not fresh, supplier confirmed it is frozen Pacific cod
Faneuil Hall
Mislabeled
Item ordered:
Fresh cod
DNA result:
Haddock
Substituted species is...
usually less expensive
Store response:
Unsure how substitution occurred
Jamaica Plain
Mislabeled
Item ordered:
Red snapper
DNA result:
Ocean perch
Substituted species is...
a cheaper species
Store response:
Acknowledged substitution, menu now lists ocean perch
Correct
Item ordered:
Haddock
DNA result:
Haddock
Chinatown
Mislabeled
Item ordered:
Flounder
DNA result:
Swai
Substituted species is...
a cheaper, farmed species
Store response:
Does not order Vietnamese catfish (swai)
Haymarket
Mislabeled
Item ordered:
Cod
DNA result:
Haddock
Substituted species is...
usually less expensive
Store response:
Could not be reached
Chinatown
Mislabeled
Item ordered:
Sole
DNA result:
Swai
Substituted species is...
a cheaper, farmed species
Store response:
Blamed chef error
Back Bay
Mislabeled
Item ordered:
Cod
DNA result:
Haddock
Substituted species is...
usually less expensive
Store response:
Apologized for mistake
Park Plaza
Correct
Item ordered:
Atlantic cod
DNA result:
Atlantic cod
Leather District
Mislabeled
Item ordered:
Wild black cod
DNA result:
Sablefish
Substituted species is...
mislabeled
Store response:
Ordered black cod from supplier, thought it was acceptable name
Leather District
Correct
Item ordered:
King salmon
DNA result:
King salmon
Chinatown
Mislabeled
Item ordered:
Red snapper
DNA result:
Tilapia
Substituted species is...
a cheaper, farmed species, not wild
Store response:
Did not return calls
Correct
Item ordered:
Salmon
DNA result:
Salmon
South Boston
Mislabeled
Item ordered:
Red snapper
DNA result:
Tilapia
Substituted species is...
a cheaper, farmed species, not wild
Store response:
Ordered correctly from supplier
Roslindale
Mislabeled
Item ordered:
White tuna
DNA result:
Escolar
Substituted species is...
a cause of severe gastrointestinal problems
Store response:
Confirmed the fish is escolar, lists both names on menu
Mislabeled
Item ordered:
Striped bass
DNA result:
White bass
Substituted species is...
a cheaper, farmed hybrid bass, not wild
Store response:
Thought it was permissible to label hybrid bass as striped bass

Cape & Islands

Bourne
Mislabeled
Item ordered:
Sole
DNA result:
Yellowtail flounder
Substituted species is...
mislabeled, but FDA plans to add yellowtail to list of acceptable names for sole by the end of the year.
Store response:
Blamed supplier, said sole and flounder are basically the same
Mashpee
Mislabeled
Item ordered:
Red snapper
DNA result:
Tilapia
Substituted species is...
a cheaper, farmed species, not wild
Store response:
Ordered correctly from supplier
Mislabeled
Item ordered:
White tuna
DNA result:
Atlantic halibut
Substituted species is...
mislabeled
Store response:
Ordered correctly from supplier
Nantucket
Mislabeled
Item ordered:
Fresh cod
DNA result:
Pacific cod
Substituted species is...
frozen, not local, and a cheaper species
Store response:
Could not get fresh cod, menu already printed
Aquinnah
Mislabeled
Item ordered:
Red snapper
DNA result:
Tilapia
Substituted species is...
a cheaper, farmed species, not wild
Store response:
Thought fish was correct species, contracts out sushi operations
Mislabeled
Item ordered:
White tuna
DNA result:
Escolar
Substituted species is...
a cause of severe gastrointestinal problems
Store response:
Thought fish was correct species, contracts out sushi operations
Hyannis Port
Mislabeled
Item ordered:
Red snapper
DNA result:
Tilapia
Substituted species is...
a cheaper, farmed species, not wild
Store response:
Did not return calls
Chatham
Mislabeled
Item ordered:
Sole
DNA result:
Yellowtail flounder
Substituted species is...
mislabeled, but FDA plans to add yellowtail to list of acceptable names for sole by the end of the year
Store response:
Blamed supplier, said sole and flounder are the same
Falmouth
Mislabeled
Item ordered:
Red snapper
DNA result:
Tilapia
Substituted species is...
a cheaper, farmed species, not wild
Store response:
Did not return calls
Mislabeled
Item ordered:
Striped bass
DNA result:
White bass
Substituted species is...
likely a cheaper, hybrid farmed bass, not wild
Store response:
Did not return calls
Wellfleet
Mislabeled
Item ordered:
Cod
DNA result:
Haddock
Substituted species is...
usually less expensive
Store response:
Purchased freshest available fish
Nantucket
Mislabeled
Item ordered:
Striped bass
DNA result:
White bass
Substituted species is...
a cheaper, farmed hybrid bass, not wild
Store response:
Confirmed fish is hybrid, staff is supposed to inform customers
Nantucket
Mislabeled
Item ordered:
Fresh cod
DNA result:
Pacific cod
Substituted species is...
not local, and a cheaper species
Store response:
Blamed old menu
Oak Bluffs
Mislabeled
Item ordered:
Red snapper
DNA result:
Tilapia
Substituted species is...
a cheaper, farmed species, not wild
Store response:
Unaware of the problem, planned to investigate, contracts out sushi operation
Mislabeled
Item ordered:
Striped bass
DNA result:
White bass
Substituted species is...
likely a cheaper, hybrid farmed bass, not wild
Store response:
Unaware of the problem, planned to investigate, contracts out sushi operation
Dennis
Mislabeled
Item ordered:
Sole
DNA result:
Alaska plaice
Substituted species is...
not local
Store response:
Supplier invoice says frozen sole
Edgartown
Mislabeled
Item ordered:
White tuna
DNA result:
Escolar
Substituted species is...
a cause of severe gastrointestinal problems
Store response:
Sushi contractor said escolar has become known as white tuna
Eastham
Mislabeled
Item ordered:
Haddock
DNA result:
Atlantic cod
Substituted species is...
mislabeled
Store response:
Blamed clerical error
Cataumet
Mislabeled
Item ordered:
Fresh cod
DNA result:
Pacific cod
Substituted species is...
frozen, not local, and a cheaper species
Store response:
Confirmed use of frozen cod when fresh not available

West

Bedford
Mislabeled
Item ordered:
White tuna
DNA result:
Escolar
Substituted species is...
a cause of severe gastrointestinal problems
Store response:
Ordered correctly from supplier
Mislabeled
Item ordered:
Red snapper
DNA result:
Tilapia
Substituted species is...
a cheaper, farmed species, not wild
Store response:
Ordered correctly from supplier
Worcester
Mislabeled
Item ordered:
White tuna
DNA result:
Escolar
Substituted species is...
a cause of severe gastrointestinal problems
Store response:
Confirmed the fish is escolar, said it is known as white tuna.
Framingham
Mislabeled
Item ordered:
Red snapper
DNA result:
Crimson snapper
Substituted species is...
a less expensive species
Store response:
Blamed supplier, restaurant now closed
Wellesley
Mislabeled
Item ordered:
Alaskan butterfish
DNA result:
Sablefish
Substituted species is...
mislabeled
Store response:
Did not like the sound of sablefish, thought butterfish was acceptable name
Brookline
Mislabeled
Item ordered:
White tuna
DNA result:
Escolar
Substituted species is...
a cause of severe gastrointestinal problems
Store response:
Confirmed the fish is escolar
Mislabeled
Item ordered:
Striped bass
DNA result:
White bass
Substituted species is...
a cheaper, farmed hybrid bass, not wild
Store response:
Confirmed the fish is a hybrid bass
Worcester
Mislabeled
Item ordered:
White tuna
DNA result:
Escolar
Substituted species is...
a cause of severe gastrointestinal problems
Store response:
Confirmed the fish is escolar, planned to change name on menu
Mislabeled
Item ordered:
Striped bass
DNA result:
White bass
Substituted species is...
a cheaper, farmed hybrid bass, not wild
Store response:
Confirmed it is farm-raised hybrid bass, planned to change name on menu
Framingham
Mislabeled
Item ordered:
Scrod (haddock)
DNA result:
Pacific cod
Substituted species is...
frozen, not local, and usually less expensive
Store response:
Blamed supplier for mistake
Natick
Mislabeled
Item ordered:
Red snapper
DNA result:
Tilapia
Substituted species is...
a cheaper, farmed species, not wild
Store response:
Confirmed fish is tilapia
Mislabeled
Item ordered:
White tuna
DNA result:
Escolar
Substituted species is...
a cause of severe gastrointestinal problems
Store response:
Believed white tuna is an American name for escolar
Brookline
Mislabeled
Item ordered:
Striped bass
DNA result:
White bass
Substituted species is...
a cheaper, farmed hybrid bass, not wild
Store response:
Confirmed fish is hybrid bass
Mislabeled
Item ordered:
White tuna
DNA result:
Escolar
Substituted species is...
a cause of severe gastrointestinal problems
Store response:
Confirmed fish is escolar, planned to take off menu
Westborough
Mislabeled
Item ordered:
Yellowfin tuna
DNA result:
Southern bluefin tuna
Substituted species is...
an overfished species
Store response:
Blamed former supplier
Natick
Mislabeled
Item ordered:
Red snapper
DNA result:
Sea bream
Store response:
Menu lists Japanese red snapper, which manager said is sea bream
Correct
Item ordered:
Bluefin tuna
DNA result:
Bluefin tuna
Chestnut Hill
Mislabeled
Item ordered:
Super white tuna
DNA result:
Escolar
Substituted species is...
a cause of severe gastrointestinal problems
Store response:
Menu lists "escalor" and super white tuna, blamed suppliers for using both names
Mislabeled
Item ordered:
Red snapper
DNA result:
Sea bream
Substituted species is...
mislabeled
Store response:
Blamed clerical error
Wellesley
Mislabeled
Item ordered:
Sole
DNA result:
Yellowtail flounder
Substituted species is...
mislabeled, but FDA plans to add yellowtail to list of acceptable names for sole by the end of the year
Store response:
Many species of flounder are referred to as sole
Brookline
Mislabeled
Item ordered:
White tuna
DNA result:
Escolar
Substituted species is...
a cause of severe gastrointestinal problems
Store response:
Confirmed fish is escolar, believed white tuna label is industry standard
Newton
Mislabeled
Item ordered:
Red snapper
DNA result:
Tilapia
Substituted species is...
a cheaper, farmed species, not wild
Store response:
Ordered correctly from supplier
Mislabeled
Item ordered:
White tuna
DNA result:
Escolar
Substituted species is...
a cause of severe gastrointestinal problems
Store response:
Believed white tuna is escolar

South

Hingham
Mislabeled
Item ordered:
Cod
DNA result:
Haddock
Substituted species is...
usually less expensive
Store response:
Substituted haddock when cod is not available
Plymouth
Mislabeled
Item ordered:
Scrod (haddock)
DNA result:
Pacific cod
Substituted species is...
frozen, not local, and a cheaper species
Store response:
Confirmed switch to Pacific Cod, menu not updated
Attleboro
Mislabeled
Item ordered:
Scrod (haddock)
DNA result:
Pacific cod
Substituted species is...
frozen, not local, and usually less expensive
Store response:
Haddock name was clerical error
Mattapoisett
Mislabeled
Item ordered:
Scrod (haddock)
DNA result:
Atlantic cod
Store response:
Servers were not informed about what was bought at auction that day
Plymouth
Mislabeled
Item ordered:
White tuna
DNA result:
Escolar
Substituted species is...
a cause of severe gastrointestinal problems
Store response:
Supplier labeled it white tuna
Mislabeled
Item ordered:
Red snapper
DNA result:
Tilapia
Substituted species is...
a cheaper, farmed species, not wild
Store response:
Ordered correctly from supplier
Foxborough
Mislabeled
Item ordered:
White tuna
DNA result:
Escolar
Substituted species is...
a cause of severe gastrointestinal problems
Store response:
Confirmed fish is escolar, changed menu to list item as both white tuna and escolar
Plymouth
Mislabeled
Item ordered:
White tuna
DNA result:
Escolar
Substituted species is...
a cause of severe gastrointestinal problems
Store response:
Did not return calls
Foxborough
Mislabeled
Item ordered:
Red snapper
DNA result:
Lane snapper
Substituted species is...
a cheaper species
Store response:
Ordered correctly from supplier
Swansea
Mislabeled
Item ordered:
White tuna
DNA result:
Escolar
Substituted species is...
a cause of severe gastrointestinal problems
Store response:
Declined to comment
Mislabeled
Item ordered:
Red snapper
DNA result:
Tilapia
Substituted species is...
a cheaper, farmed species, not wild
Store response:
Declined to comment

North

Salem
Mislabeled
Item ordered:
Red snapper
DNA result:
Colorado snapper
Substituted species is...
usually less expensive
Store response:
Ordered correctly from supplier, confirmed vendor supplied different snapper
Newburyport
Mislabeled
Item ordered:
Cod
DNA result:
Haddock
Substituted species is...
usually less expensive
Store response:
Confirmed switch to haddock, menu not updated
Rockport
Mislabeled
Item ordered:
Haddock
DNA result:
Cod
Substituted species is...
mislabeled
Store response:
Fish arrived without skin, hard to tell the difference
Peabody
Mislabeled
Item ordered:
New England fish and chips (cod)
DNA result:
Pacific cod
Substituted species is...
not local, and a cheaper species
Store response:
Name refers to New England style of preparation and the batter used
Burlington
Mislabeled
Item ordered:
White tuna
DNA result:
Escolar
Substituted species is...
a cause of severe gastrointestinal problems
Store response:
Blamed supplier, pulled this product from the shelves
Mislabeled
Item ordered:
Red snapper
DNA result:
Crimson snapper
Substituted species is...
a cheaper species
Store response:
Blamed supplier for mixing boxes of crimson snapper in with red snapper
Saugus
Mislabeled
Item ordered:
White tuna
DNA result:
Escolar
Substituted species is...
a cause of severe gastrointestinal problems
Store response:
Unaware of the problem, planned to investigate.
Mislabeled
Item ordered:
Red snapper
DNA result:
Tilapia
Substituted species is...
a cheaper, farmed species, not wild
Store response:
Unaware of the problem, planned to investigate.
Peabody
Mislabeled
Item ordered:
Cod
DNA result:
Haddock
Substituted species is...
usually less expensive
Store response:
Blamed clerical error
Correct
Item ordered:
Scrod (Atlantic cod)
DNA result:
Atlantic cod
Correct
Item ordered:
Fluke
DNA result:
Fluke
Burlington
Correct
Item ordered:
Scrod (Atlantic cod)
DNA result:
Atlantic cod
Cambridge
Mislabeled
Item ordered:
Red snapper
DNA result:
Tilapia
Substituted species is...
a cheaper, farmed species, not wild
Store response:
Sushi chef told owner that red snapper and tilapia are the same
Salem
Mislabeled
Item ordered:
White tuna
DNA result:
Escolar
Substituted species is...
a cause of severe gastrointestinal problems
Store response:
Blamed supplier for calling escolar a form of white tuna
Mislabeled
Item ordered:
Striped bass
DNA result:
Tilapia
Substituted species is...
a cheaper, farmed species, not wild
Store response:
Verbally ordered striped bass
Somerville
Mislabeled
Item ordered:
Striped bass
DNA result:
European sea bass
Store response:
Confirmed it is Greek sea bass, planned to change menu
Woburn
Mislabeled
Item ordered:
White tuna
DNA result:
Escolar
Substituted species is...
a cause of severe gastrointestinal problems
Store response:
Confirmed the fish is escolar
Somerville
Mislabeled
Item ordered:
Wild Atlantic salmon
DNA result:
Atlantic salmon
Substituted species is...
a cheaper, farmed species, not wild
Store response:
Acknowldeged it was farmed salmon, blamed menu designer
Haverhill
Mislabeled
Item ordered:
White tuna
DNA result:
Escolar
Substituted species is...
a cause of severe gastrointestinal problems
Store response:
Ordered correctly from supplier, planned to change name or stop serving the fish
Mislabeled
Item ordered:
Red snapper
DNA result:
Tilapia
Substituted species is...
a cheaper, farmed species, not wild
Store response:
Ordered correctly from supplier, planned to change name or stop serving the fish

Correctly labeled seafood

Boston

South Boston
Correct
Item ordered:
Fluke
DNA result:
Fluke
South Boston
Correct
Item ordered:
Dover sole
DNA result:
Dover sole
Back Bay
Correct
Item ordered:
Atlantic cod
DNA result:
Atlantic cod
South End
Correct
Item ordered:
Red snapper
DNA result:
Red snapper
Financial district
Correct
Item ordered:
Swordfish
DNA result:
Swordfish
Beacon Hill
Correct
Item ordered:
Cod
DNA result:
Cod
South Boston
Correct
Item ordered:
Sole
DNA result:
Sole
Chinatown
Correct
Item ordered:
Sole
DNA result:
Sole
Jamaica Plain
Correct
Item ordered:
Sole
DNA result:
Sole
Waterfront
Correct
Item ordered:
Atlantic cod
DNA result:
Atlantic cod
Faneuil Hall Marketplace
Correct
Item ordered:
Chilean sea bass
DNA result:
Chilean sea bass
Correct
Item ordered:
Cod
DNA result:
Cod
Chinatown
Correct
Item ordered:
Red snapper
DNA result:
Red snapper
Financial district
Correct
Item ordered:
Cod
DNA result:
Cod
Boston
Correct
Item ordered:
Flounder
DNA result:
Flounder
Waterfront
Correct
Item ordered:
Sockeye salmon
DNA result:
Sockeye salmon
Charlestown
Correct
Item ordered:
Cod
DNA result:
Cod
Dorchester
Correct
Item ordered:
Sole
DNA result:
Sole

Cape & Islands

Hyannis
Correct
Item ordered:
Swordfish
DNA result:
Swordfish
Hyannis
Correct
Item ordered:
Haddock
DNA result:
Haddock
Nantucket
Correct
Item ordered:
Cod
DNA result:
Cod
Orleans
Correct
Item ordered:
Scrod (haddock)
DNA result:
Haddock
Chatham
Correct
Item ordered:
Scrod (haddock)
DNA result:
Haddock
Hyannis
Correct
Item ordered:
Sole
DNA result:
Sole
Nantucket
Correct
Item ordered:
Atlantic cod
DNA result:
Atlantic cod
West Tisbury
Correct
Item ordered:
Cod
DNA result:
Cod
Orleans
Correct
Item ordered:
Haddock
DNA result:
Haddock
Provincetown
Correct
Item ordered:
Tuna
DNA result:
Tuna
Correct
Item ordered:
Haddock
DNA result:
Haddock
Hyannis
Correct
Item ordered:
Albacore tuna
DNA result:
Albacore tuna
Correct
Item ordered:
Mahi mahi
DNA result:
Mahi mahi
Harwich
Correct
Item ordered:
Haddock
DNA result:
Haddock
Orleans
Correct
Item ordered:
Cod
DNA result:
Cod
Edgartown
Correct
Item ordered:
Cod
DNA result:
Cod

West

Westborough
Correct
Item ordered:
Chilean sea bass
DNA result:
Chilean sea bass
Worcester
Correct
Item ordered:
Sole
DNA result:
Sole
Ashland
Correct
Item ordered:
Haddock
DNA result:
Haddock
Correct
Item ordered:
Salmon
DNA result:
Salmon
Waltham
Correct
Item ordered:
Trout
DNA result:
Rainbow trout
Needham
Correct
Item ordered:
Hake
DNA result:
Hake
Worcester
Correct
Item ordered:
Flounder
DNA result:
Flounder
Newtonville
Correct
Item ordered:
Haddock
DNA result:
Haddock
Correct
Item ordered:
Salmon
DNA result:
Salmon
Westborough
Correct
Item ordered:
Cod
DNA result:
Cod
Southborough
Correct
Item ordered:
Striped bass
DNA result:
Striped bass
Needham
Correct
Item ordered:
Striped bass
DNA result:
Striped bass
Leominster
Correct
Item ordered:
Haddock
DNA result:
Haddock
Framingham
Correct
Item ordered:
Black sea bass
DNA result:
Black sea bass

South

Brockton
Correct
Item ordered:
Haddock
DNA result:
Haddock
Weymouth
Correct
Item ordered:
Flounder
DNA result:
Flounder
Correct
Item ordered:
Cod
DNA result:
Cod
Correct
Item ordered:
Mahi mahi
DNA result:
Mahi mahi
Plymouth
Correct
Item ordered:
Atlantic cod
DNA result:
Atlantic cod
New Bedford
Correct
Item ordered:
Scrod (haddock)
DNA result:
Haddock
New Bedford
Correct
Item ordered:
Flounder
DNA result:
Flounder
Correct
Item ordered:
Cod
DNA result:
Cod
Weymouth
Correct
Item ordered:
Tilapia
DNA result:
Tilapia
South Attleboro
Correct
Item ordered:
Tilapia
DNA result:
Tilapia
Dedham
Correct
Item ordered:
Chilean sea bass
DNA result:
Chilean sea bass
North Attleboro
Correct
Item ordered:
Sole
DNA result:
Sole
New Bedford
Correct
Item ordered:
Flounder
DNA result:
Flounder
Wrentham
Correct
Item ordered:
Mahi mahi
DNA result:
Mahi mahi
Brockton
Correct
Item ordered:
Sockeye salmon
DNA result:
Sockeye salmon
Correct
Item ordered:
Cod
DNA result:
Cod
Braintree
Correct
Item ordered:
Mahi mahi
DNA result:
Mahi mahi
Hingham
Correct
Item ordered:
Sockeye salmon
DNA result:
Sockeye salmon
Hingham
Correct
Item ordered:
Atlantic cod
DNA result:
Atlantic cod
North Attleboro
Correct
Item ordered:
Haddock
DNA result:
Haddock
Correct
Item ordered:
Cod
DNA result:
Cod

North

Saugus
Correct
Item ordered:
Swordfish
DNA result:
Swordfish
Salem
Correct
Item ordered:
Sole
DNA result:
Sole
Burlington
Correct
Item ordered:
Cod
DNA result:
Cod
Rockport
Correct
Item ordered:
Sole
DNA result:
Sole
Correct
Item ordered:
Haddock
DNA result:
Haddock
Bedford
Correct
Item ordered:
Albacore tuna
DNA result:
Albacore tuna
Correct
Item ordered:
Atlantic cod
DNA result:
Atlantic cod
Tom Giratikanon / Globe Staff

Source: Biodiversity Institute of Ontario; Therion International; Jacob Lowenstein, faculty fellow at Columbia University and the American Museum of Natural History; FDA; restaurants

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