Voice of the Restaurant Industry
As chefs and restaurant owners, we are committed to serving seafood that protects our oceans, our wallets and our health. Yet as more seafood is imported into the Unites States, our fish follows an increasingly complex path from fishing vessel to plate, increasing the risk of fraud each step of the way and making it more difficult for us to make eco-friendly choices.
Despite growing concern about where our nation’s seafood comes from, chefs, restaurant owners and consumers are routinely given little or no information about the fish they purchase. We rely on our purveyors to supply us with high quality, safe, legal and honestly labeled seafood.
Unfortunately, the information that travels with each fish is often limited.
Recent studies have found that seafood may be mislabeled as often as 25 to 70 percent of the time for popular species like red snapper, wild salmon and Atlantic cod, disguising fish that are less desirable, cheaper or more readily available.
With about 1,700 different species of seafood from all over the world now available in the U.S., it is unrealistic to expect chefs and restaurant owners to be able to independently and accurately determine that the fish they are getting is actually the one they paid for. We should be able to tell our customers, without question, what they are eating as well as where, when and how it was caught.
We believe that robust traceability standards are needed for all fish sold in the U.S. – both domestic and imported. As food industry leaders, we call on the U.S. government to require that seafood is traceable in order to prevent seafood fraud and keep illegal fish out of the U.S. market.
The U.S. government has an opportunity to set standards that ensure consumers are not being cheated.
By tracing seafood from the fishing vessel to the dinner plate, we can have more confidence in the food we serve. With your help, we can continue to make decisions that not only please our customers, but also help protect our oceans.