Last weekend in Austin, my friend and I went out to dinner at a restaurant neither of us had been to before but it happened to be located on the convenient side of the very busy street we were traveling. One of the specials that night was Chilean Sea Bass. I thought it amusing when I learned that the Chilean Sea Bass is neither Chilean nor a Bass. Besides, Patagonian Toothfish doesn't sound too tasty, does it? No, no it doesn't. No doubt in part due to its convenient renaming, apparently done so to market to Americans, it's a very popular fish in restaurants. With high demand, this fish is being overfished and on its way to being endangered. Because of the regulatory pressure on fishermen to decrease their catches, poaching has become popular. Now we the consumers are being encouraged to order alternative fish, thereby decreasing the demand. Several weeks ago, I read an article on the plight of this fish. The author suggested that when dining out, ask the restaurant where the fish was caught. Certain populations in certain deep waters are not overfished and not poached.
I considered the dish and asked our waitress where the fish was caught. She did not know and said she needed to ask her manager.
When she returned, she informed me the Chilean Sea Bass was from... wait for it... Dallas. Who knew that the Chilean Sea Bass was not only not Chilean and not a Bass, but also not a fish of the sea at all? I ordered the avacado and artichoke enchiladas.