Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Scientists Find 75 Percent Of Red Snapper Sold In Stores Is Really Some Other Species

Date:
July 15, 2004
Source:
University Of North Carolina At Chapel Hill
Summary:
While learning in a course how to extract, amplify and sequence the genetic material known as DNA, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill graduate students got a big surprise. So did their marine science professors.

CHAPEL HILL – While learning in a course how to extract, amplify and sequence the genetic material known as DNA, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill graduate students got a big surprise. So did their marine science professors.

In violation of federal law, more than 75 percent of fish tested and sold as tasty red snapper in stores in eight states were other species. How much of the mislabeling was unintentional or fraud is unknown, said Dr. Peter B. Marko, assistant professor of marine sciences at UNC’s College of Arts and Sciences.

"Red snapper is the most sought-after snapper species and has the highest prices, and many people, including me, believe it tastes best," Marko said. "Mislabeling to this extent not only defrauds consumers, but also risks adversely affecting estimates of stock size for this species if it influences the reporting of catch data used in fisheries management. The potential for this kind of bias in fisheries data depends on at what point in the commercial industry fish are mislabeled, which is something that we currently know little about."

A report on his group’s research appears in the July 15 issue of the journal Nature. Co-authors are his colleague Dr. Amy L. Moran, research assistant professor of marine sciences, and graduate students Sarah C. Lee, Amber M. Rice, Joel M. Gramling, Tara M. Fitzhenry, Justin S. McAlister and George R. Harper.

"The red snapper, or Lutjanus campechanus, is found in offshore waters around coral reefs and rocky outcroppings and is one of the most economically important fisheries in the Gulf of Mexico, with greater total landings…than any other snapper species," Marko and colleagues wrote. "In 1996, the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council and the U.S. Department of Commerce declared that L. campechanus was grossly overfished and called for strict management measures to restore stocks to sustainable levels.

"Such restrictions create an economic incentive for seafood substitution, where less valuable species are mislabeled and sold under the names of more expensive ones. Substitutions among closely related fish are difficult to detect, because most distinguishing features are lost during processing."

The team conducted molecular analyses of 22 fish bought from nine vendors in Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina and Wisconsin. They found 17, or 77 percent, of the samples sold as red snapper were other species.

"Our work has a margin of error of 17 percent, meaning that between 60 percent and 94 percent of fish sold as red snapper in the United States are mislabeled," Marko said.

Among those sold as red snapper were lane snapper and vermilion snapper, two other species from the western Atlantic Ocean. Also surprising was that more than half the DNA sequences came either from fish from other regions of the world such as the western Pacific or from rare species about which little is known, he said.

"The remarkable extent of product mislabeling of red snapper threatens to distort the status of fish stocks in the eyes of consumers, contributing to a false impression that the supply of marine species is keeping up with demand," Marko said.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of North Carolina At Chapel Hill. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of North Carolina At Chapel Hill. "Scientists Find 75 Percent Of Red Snapper Sold In Stores Is Really Some Other Species." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 July 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/07/040715081351.htm>.
University Of North Carolina At Chapel Hill. (2004, July 15). Scientists Find 75 Percent Of Red Snapper Sold In Stores Is Really Some Other Species. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/07/040715081351.htm
University Of North Carolina At Chapel Hill. "Scientists Find 75 Percent Of Red Snapper Sold In Stores Is Really Some Other Species." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/07/040715081351.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

AP (July 28, 2014) West African nations and international health organizations are working to contain the largest Ebola outbreak in history. It's one of the deadliest diseases known to man, but the CDC says it's unlikely to spread in the U.S. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Asteroid's Timing Was 'Colossal Bad Luck' For The Dinosaurs

Asteroid's Timing Was 'Colossal Bad Luck' For The Dinosaurs

Newsy (July 28, 2014) The asteroid that killed the dinosaurs struck at the worst time for them. A new study says that if it hit earlier or later, they might've survived. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

AP (July 27, 2014) A live-streaming webcam catches loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings emerging from a nest in the Florida Keys. (July 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins