Fish Fiction: Restaurants Lie About Serving Salmon 67 Percent of the Time

A new study from Oceana has found that diners are misled about being served salmon in restaurants at least 67 percent of the tim


There’s something fishy about this restaurant dish…

It’s date night at your favorite local restaurant, and you’ve been looking forward to ordering a nice piece of grilled salmon. News alert: There’s a good chance that whatever comes out of the kitchen is not salmon. According to a recent study from marine life watchdog organization, Oceana, diners are misled when ordering salmon about 67 percent of the time.

Slightly less than half of the 82 salmon dishes studied in Washington D.C., New York, and Virginia were completely mislabeled. The most common fraud was identifying farmed salmon as wild salmon, and many of the dishes studied were not made of salmon at all, but cheaper alternatives like rainbow trout or mackerel.

“Eat your salmon in season," Dr. Kimberly Warner, senior scientist at Oceana and one of the writers of the study, told USA Today. “Of course, salmon is a popular dish — it's the U.S.'s most consumed fish per capita — and it's shocking to not be able to trust what you're eating."

Wild salmon season runs from May to September, so be on the lookout for restaurants claiming to serve the sustainable pink fish in the wintertime.


Warner suggests asking your server where the fish was sourced from, and if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.