CSI Grouper: What’s Really On Your Plate?

 Dr. Mahmood Shivji, director of the Guy Harvey Research Institute, continues to garner attention in the national media for his efforts at exposing the widespread practice of “fish substituting”, which is a bait-and-switch scheme cooked up by unsavory chefs and restaurateurs where common fish such as tilapia and catfish are surreptitiously served to unsuspecting diners who had ordered more pricey entrees, such as grouper or red snapper.

GHRI web site

The process for detecting this fraudulent scheme, which was originally developed to aid in identifying sharks that were being slaughtered to support the international shark fin trade, involves testing a small sample of the fish being served to determine its DNA make-up, which conclusively identifies the species of fish. The results of Dr. Shivji’s tests have been alarming, to say the least.

To learn more about the prevalence of this deceitful act and the implications it has not only for the diner but also for conservation efforts of overfished species, read this article from a recent edition of the Miami Herald.

Congratulations once again to Dr. Shivji for his pioneering efforts and continued leadership – and a big thanks to the national media for putting a spotlight on this reprehensible practice. 



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