History behind the Chilean Sea Bass

The story of Chilean sea bass reveals the power of branding in the seafood industry. Originally known as the Patagonian toothfish, this species was rebranded by American fish merchant Lee Latz in the late 1970s to make it more appealing to consumers. Despite being neither Chilean nor a bass, this fish gained popularity due to its buttery flavor and versatile cooking options. The rebranding was a response to overfishing and declining fish populations globally, with the seafood industry seeking to market new, lesser-known species to meet demand. Other fish, like red snapper and mahi-mahi, have also undergone name changes for similar reasons. While rebranding has boosted sales, it hasn’t addressed the underlying issue of overfishing, with Chilean sea bass now facing its own population decline and illegal fishing due to its high market value.

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