Fishy activities have been codding customers in chippers across the country.
An investigation by the Food Safety Authority has uncovered a practice of substituting cheaper fish for the more traditional ones so they can sell it at inflated prices.
Your regular cod and chips could in fact be pollack and chips and would you be any the wiser?
The authority took cod and haddock samples from 111 retail outlets, fish shops, hotels, pubs, restaurants and takeaways across the State and found that 19 per cent had been labelled incorrectly.
Twenty pieces of fish were found to have been wrongly labelled as cod while one was wrongly sold as smoked haddock, the survey found.
Takeaways were by far the worst offenders; 32 per cent were found to have wrongly labelled the fish they were selling either through ignorance or with a view to ripping consumers off, the authority said.
Non-compliant premises were revisited by environmental health officers, issued with verbal warnings and notified that further unannounced checks were to be expected, the authority said.
We are not, by nature, big fish eaters. We should be, as the finest is fish are available on our doorsteps.
I suppose we are not adventurous enough to taste the different species. Having caught many of them, mainly off the Mayo coast, I can attest to the quality and variety available.
Such tasty bites included squid, red gurnard, ling, garfish, John Dory, sand eels and ray.
On the shellfish side we have scallops, mussels, cockles, whelks, razor fish, oysters, limpets and winkles.
On the more exotic side fishmongers have access to tuna, shark, swordfish, snapper and octopus.
I have to admit I do not like smocked haddock. This goes back to my childhood and fish on Friday.
We regularly had smoked haddock, as the choice was not what it is today, and since then I dislike it, even in chowder.
John Dory and turbot are my favourites and in the shellfish section spider crab, lobster and prawns in oil with garlic and chilli top my list.
But getting back to the authority findings – if a customer wished to purchase a piece of cod, it should be cod.
Maybe retail outlets selling fish should be better educated on the products they sell.
The least they should be able to do is identify the fish delivered to their premises so they are not codded as to the species on offer.
There are wall charts available from Bord Iascaigh Mhara, which would be of assistance.