Every meal is an opportunity to protect the planet.
In many countries where this dish is popular, salt fish, also called bacalao, bacalhau, baccalà or dried fish, is typically cod that has been preserved for long-term storage via salt-curing and drying until all the moisture has been extracted. However, as cod populations have decreased, dried shark has been increasingly used to replace it in these dishes, yet it is still called and labelled as “salted cod”.
Product mislabelling can occur due to an error (intentional or not) somewhere along the distribution chain of seafood and fish: however in either case, it directly affects the consumer, as they are being misled into believing they are purchasing something else. In certain cases, they are unknowingly eating threatened or endangered species! This is unfair, as it also hurts the reputation and efforts of all the other people/companies along the chain who aim to correctly identify the species they are distributing.
We have already seen dried hammerhead sharks being sold around Baja. This holiday, we ask that you think before you consume and ask more questions! If you have doubts about what you are eating, then choose an alternative dish or do more research! As we have seen before: if the demand for this dish remains high, sharks risk being increasingly targeted for their meat. Your choices matter – make the right ones!