Study finds Maryland crab cakes may not be labeled as advertised

The nonprofit group Oceana released a report on Wednesday that found mislabeling in Maryland crab cakes.

Out of 90 crab cakes sampled at restaurants in Maryland and Washington D.C., DNA testing revealed that 38 percent were mislabeled and contained imported crab species other than the local blue crab.

You may expect that you're not getting local crabs when they are out of season, but the research was done during the height of the 2014 season.

Oceana spokeswoman Beth Lowell says seafood fraud can happen anywhere in the supply chain.

"A restaurant owner may think they are selling a blue crab cake when in fact they are getting a swap," says Lowell.

She continued, "Until we start tracing our fish, it's going to happen."

So how can you tell you are getting the real deal? Look for the "True Blue" logo. The Maryland Department of Natural Resources has certified about 200 restaurants for serving true Maryland blue crab products and lists them on its website.

In March, a task force under President Barack Obama announced a plan to stop pirate fishing and fraud, and to create more transparency in the seafood supply chain. Oceana is hoping that plan is put into action quickly.

Over the past few years, the group has also uncovered similar fraud with shrimp and fish.

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