Locals know Baltimore’s identity is about more than “Maryland crabs,” but we still want to eat the real thing. Study data released Wednesday indicated that blue crab offered in local restaurants only has about a 50-50 chance of being from Bay.
Oceana collected crab cakes from 86 restaurants in the region, and conducted DNA testing. Just over 45 percent of the blue crab offered in Baltimore and Annapolis, respectively, were found to be from Maryland, making the two cities the highest in the area with mislabeled crabs. The Eastern Shore had only nine percent of its crab cakes mislabeled.
The problem is passed on to Maryland eaters, but Oceana says the mislabeling mostly happens overseas by companies that are trying to keep costs down. But the practice makes prices go up since it floods the market with seafood that is authentic in name only.
It’s considered a serious enough problem that President Barack Obama formed a seafood fraud commission. Oceana thinks the commission should recommend measures that would make the crab traceable from the time it begins the journey to the U.S.