northern snapper


Red snapper. A reef fish found along the eastern coast of North America and in the Gulf of Mexico. It has rosy skin, red eyes and lean, flaky, pink flesh which whitens as it cooks. It has a good, sweet flavour. In July 2004 it was reported (Nature, Vol 430, p 309) that most red snappers sold in the United States are not red snappers at all. Peter Marko of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill analysed DNA from a selection of fillets in eight US states and found that 25% were not red snapper but the related (and inferior) species of vermilion, lane and crimson snapper. Worse, 50% were unidentifiable or came from foreign oceans. Like many good fish, the red snapper has become rare and it came under strict management in 1996 to reduce exploitation.

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