The Globe Finds More Fishy Schemes


scallopsScallops photo via Shutterstock

We’re into fall at this point, and you know what that means: It’s time for another Globe investigation into our seafood. Okay, maybe you didn’t know that’s what it means, but yes, almost a year after reporters Jenn Abelson and Beth Daley published a series that shed light on the mislabeling of fish at restaurants and markets, Abelson had a Sunday story looking at the water content of scallops. Here’s the gist of it:

[C]onsumers routinely pay for excess water when they buy the shellfish, according to a Boston Globe investigation of moisture content in scallops collected from 21 Massachusetts supermarkets.

The results revealed that some products sold as pure scallops — meaning they were not processed with additives to soak up moisture — contained water levels far exceeding industry standards.

For some reason, the stoic investigative language the Globe uses to discuss their seafood investigations makes us giggle, but to the seafood eaters of our state, this is a pretty useful finding. It’s also a nice follow-up to last year’s piece, which found the following:

The Globe collected fish from 134 restaurants, grocery stores, and seafood markets from Leominster to Provincetown, and hired a laboratory in Canada to conduct DNA testing on the samples. Analyses by the DNA lab and other scientists showed that 87 of 183 were sold with the wrong species name — 48 percent.

As they noticed then, “The results underscore the dramatic lack of oversight in the seafood business compared with other food industries such as meat and poultry,” so it’s nice to see the Globe looking for other seafood-related schemes.