Juliet knew what she was talking about when she uttered the famous line, “that which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” But the question remains:
“to be or not to be?” “would it taste as good?”
Probably not, according to the savvy marketers in the seafood industry. Let’s test the theory. Which of these two sounds more appealing: Patagonian toothfish or Chilean sea bass? As you’ve probably guessed, they’re the same fish. It’s not uncommon to rename a fish to increase its appeal to diners.
Let’s try another one. Which would you order off your dinner menu: orange roughy or slimeheads? Ah, another trick question. Yes, they are the same fish, but believe it or not this fish is even more overfished than Chilean sea bass, so you really shouldn’t be ordering it at all.
Could the answer to our fisheries crisis lie in some creative nomenclature? A “truth in advertising” law for fish names? That could be much easier than getting the government to actually enforce sustainable fishing laws.
In the meantime, I think we should do something about the poor folks living in Scaggsville, Maryland.