Researchers have discovered that three-quarters of fish marketed in the United States as red snapper are mislabelled and belong to other species.

A team from the University of North Carolina’s Department of Marine Sciences ran DNA tests on fillets from nine major grocery chains in eight states.

They found that 75% were actually types of less well-known snapper. It is not known whether such mislabelling is intentional, but it suggests that red snapper – under strict management since 1996 due to overexploitation – is far more abundant than it is. Also unknown is where vendors are substituting less valuable species, be it during the catch, on the docks, or by grocers and restaurateurs.