The rampant mislabeling of fish that consumers buy can be largely traced to this: the lack of anything like the regulations imposed on meat suppliers.OK, call me a bomb-throwing anarchist, but I'd probably trace the problem to several other factors before I called in the regulators. First, fish are known by a bewildering variety of names, so it's hardly fraud to call escolar "white tuna" if that's a common euphemism. Second, the average patron would scream and run out of the room if the fish showed up on his plate still looking like a fish. Eek! Eyes! Fins! So most of us are used to seeing our fish show up filleted and anonymous, barely identifiable as fish any more, let alone a specific species. Whose fault is that? Third, not that many palettes can distinguish one roughly similar fish from another by taste and texture. My husband can; I can't. I may need an educated palette more than I need a regulator.
So this isn't a problem I'm eager to see Congress solve. I'll all for rating agencies of the Michelin variety who are willing to award stars to restaurants who practice truth in fish, but I'm really not interested in seeing federal regulators show up to harass my local restaurateurs. If the fish isn't carrying dangerous pathogens and I can't tell the difference by eating it, then I feel I ought to be left to the task of frequenting the restaurants that do the best job of winning my confidence regarding the source of their food.