So it seems that Florida diners are ordering grouper and getting counterfeits: On Fla. Menus, a Favorite Fish Experiences Identity Theft. I suspect that when the stuff is slathered in sauces, or charred to within an inch of charcoal, diners can't tell the difference anyway.
It all puts me in mind of the story of the lady who went to Zabars in New York and said, “I'd like half a pound of caviar. And make sure it's imported because I can't tell the difference.”
Scallops used to be shark cut with a cookie cutter back when, but these days shark costs just as much. I never trust abalone on a menu unless I know and trust the chef. Grouper I used to get from a local wholesaler, again whom I trusted not to buy anything else and to have the expertise to know what he was getting.
The sad thing about fish is the guilt I feel every time I eat it, but I don’t see the point of substituting ineffective private virtue in the face of the overfishing that only collective action can solve.
Besides, fish is tasty and healthful.