Would a slimehead by any other name taste as sweet?
Marketeers of the seafood industry have found that the names given to fish have an influence over the buyer. Fish are often given more palatable names to entice the consumer. However, one negative effect of re-naming is the confusion it can cause. When names are continually changing, shoppers don’t always know what they’re buying. In her article, Jennifer Jacquet argues that this can lead to overfishing. Poachers may export engandered species under a different name in order to avoid suspicion.
In some cases, mislabelling is done in order to attract a higher price. A Canadian study found that 25% of samples taken from Toronto and New York restaurants were mislabelled (Read the article). “In all cases, they were sold to unsuspecting consumers as higher-priced or more-desirable fish species”.
It seems that for now, the onus rests with consumers to learn more about the fish available to them and when in doubt, it may be best to avoid the unfamiliar.