Fraudulent Fish in Spanish Markets

Hake is Spain’s most popular fish. Photo: Mar Cabra/ICIJ.

Hake is Spain’s most popular fish. Photo: Mar Cabra/ICIJ.

Europe’s largest department store pulls mislabeled fish following ICIJ investigation.

Spanish consumers may not be getting the real thing when they shop for the country’s favorite fish, hake. Different species, including fresh water catfish from Vietnam and grenadier from the Pacific Ocean, are labeled and sold as hake in markets across Madrid, according to a DNA study commissioned by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.

The analysis found that nearly one in 10 fish were mislabeled.

El Corte Inglés, Europe’s largest department store, undertook its own DNA analysis after ICIJ approached the company with its findings. A store spokesperson confirmed El Corte Inglés found mislabeled fish in a batch of more than 1 ton of hake and pulled those fish from its shelves. The official said they are in conversations with the fish provider and will take “drastic measures.”

This story is the latest in ICIJ’s series Looting the Seas, an investigation into the forces that are rapidly depleting the oceans of fish. Earlier this week, ICIJ revealed that the Spanish fishing industry – including companies found guilty of illegal fishing – has received nearly €6 billion in subsidies since 2000.

Read the full story here: Hake hoax in Spanish markets

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