Step-by-Step Fish Sampling Instructions - Oceana USA

Step-by-Step Fish Sampling Instructions

Ready to be a sleuth? Here’s how to buy and prepare your fish samples to help us stop seafood fraud:

Which Fish Should I Buy?

Your fish kit contains enough supplies for you to sample two types of fish. You can buy your fish from a restaurant, fish market or grocery store.

Please select one or more types of fish from your Welcome Letter or the following list for your samples:

  • Salmon labeled “Wild” (could also be labeled “King,” “Chinook,” “Coho” or “Sockeye”)
  • Red snapper
  • Grouper
  • Chilean sea bass
  • Halibut labeled “Pacific” or “Atlantic”
  • Cod labeled “Pacific” or “Atlantic”
  • Sole with the type specified, such as “Dover sole”
  • White tuna (from sushi restaurants)

What Materials Do I Need?







How Do I Prepare Each Sample?

It is very important to avoid contamination of your sample by another type of seafood. Please keep all other kinds of fish and seafood away from your hands and materials while preparing the sample! We are collecting two sub-samples for each type of fish.

1. Label one zip bag with your initials, the date, vial number (both vials in the bag will have the same number), and circle whether it is Fish Sample #1 or #2. Fill in this information on the top of your data sheet, too.

2. Wash your hands and the knife and fork very well in hot, soapy water.

3. Rinse your piece of fish in cold water and dry thoroughly with a paper towel.

4. On a clean piece of aluminum foil or other clean surface, cut two pieces from the center of the fish, each about the size of a marble.

5. Put one piece of fish into each vial and cap both of the vials securely. Make sure the piece fits easily into the vial.



6. Shake the vials to cover the fish samples with desiccant beads.

7. Fill out your data sheet with the information about your sample. Then place both vials in the labeled zip bag and seal it.

8. Store this zip bag inside the unsealed mailing pouch at room temperature until you are ready to send it to Oceana.

9. For Fish Sample #2 (if you have one), make sure to thoroughly wash your hands and utensils and use fresh foil. Then repeat steps 1-8, using the other side of the data sheet.  
10. Put the sample vials in their zip bags in the padded mailing pouch – be sure to include your completed data sheet! Take the package to your nearest FedEx location or drop box (find one here). Oceana will automatically be billed for your shipping costs.  


Remember, the deadline to return your fish kit is May 12! Questions? See our FAQs and please contact us at