Rule #1 when purchasing seafood: know your source. As with any exchange where quality matters, it pays to do a little research, and to establish trustworthy relationships with your fishmongers. Case in point – a man in Bellevue, Washington, was recently found guilty of purchasing more than 65 tons of turbot from China, and then repackaging the lot and selling it in the US as halibut. While both are tasty members of the flatfish family, turbot average around 30-40 pounds – and halibut can reach 400. Halibut steaks also tend to be somewhat denser than turbot, are fished in Alaskan waters rather than Atlantic or Mediterranean, and fetch a higher price on the market.
A turbot caught in Ireland in 2005, and a halibut caught in the Bering Sea in 2003.
The man in question later wrote an apology that was published in seafood industry magazines, and was forced to donate the profits he’d earned to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. His sentencing is scheduled for February.
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