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What’s in a name?
For fish, the stakes of a name are quite high. With a new name, a fish that was once never even considered edible by society becomes THE fish to eat.
Renamed fish can get more expensive and wind up becoming endangered faster.
Take … lobster, for example!
Even lobster has been a victim of rebranding.
Lobster used to be considered a food for, well, people down on their luck — prisoners, servants, and the like — because they were so plentiful. But around the 19th century,American tourists started traveling to lobster country in New England in search of authenticity, a rustic living experience, and local dishes, and the crustaceans started to be seen as more of a delicacy.
Fast forward to lobster being overfished so much that its prices actually skyrocketed.
Rebranding helps to sell fish, but it winds up shifting things really far out of balance.
Turns out this rebranding and renaming is nothing new. Many fish have been renamed out of their hilariously gross names and gross reputations, leading to high demand, high cost, and high negative human impact.
When deep sea fishing companies see piles and piles of money in their future, many of the fishing boats that get into the game are funded illegally — and because the high seas has a problem with law enforcement, illegal fishing is not only profitable, it’s feasible.
And because these fishing boats are working largely outside the law, there’s a much higher occurrence of human rights and labor abuses on illegal fishing boats.Unsustainably fished seafood, especially in the case of deep sea fishing, has a real human impact.
So in the interest of wisdom, here’s a short list of rebranded fish that marketers are schooling you on:
1. Toothfish (aka “Chilean sea bass”)
Chilean sea bass are a perfect example of this rebranding problem.
They were once known as the toothfish: ugly, oily, bottom dwelling, frozen in the Arctic, toothy fish.
To see the remaining 4 cheap fishes being rebranded as gourmet food, please visit the original post.