Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

What fish is on your plate? How new technologies can tackle fishing fraud

Date:
May 28, 2011
Source:
European Commission, Joint Research Centre (JRC)
Summary:
Low-cost catfish fillets sold as expensive sole fillets or cod caught in the North Sea but declared as originating from the Baltic Sea are both examples of types of fraud in the fisheries sector. A new report shows how molecular technologies - based on genetics, genomics, chemistry and forensics - can provide clear answers to questions such as "what species does this fish product come from....where was this fish caught....is it wild or farmed?"

What fish is on your plate? Commission scientists publish report on how new technologies can tackle fishing fraud.

Low-cost catfish fillets sold as expensive sole fillets or cod caught in the North Sea but declared as originating from the Baltic Sea are both examples of types of fraud in the fisheries sector. A European Commission report published May 27 shows how molecular technologies -- based on genetics, genomics, chemistry and forensics -- can provide clear answers to questions such as "what species does this fish product come from….where was this fish caught….is it wild or farmed?." The report by the Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC), is called "Deterring illegal activities in the fisheries sector" and shows how these technologies can help in the fight against illegal practices and support traceability- including of processed products such as canned fish -- "from ocean to fork."

Presenting the report at the "Slow Fish" event in Genoa, European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Maria Damanaki said: "Illegal fishing is said to be worth €10 billion euro per year worldwide. It is a criminal activity which negatively affects the global economy, disrupts marine ecosystems, and damages fisheries communities and consumers. Without respect for the rules in EU waters and beyond, there can be no sustainable fisheries. Today marks a first step into a new era, the challenge now will be transferring this new science into day-to-day practice across Europe."

Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science and the Commissioner with lead responsibility for the JRC said: "This crucial report by the Commission's in-house scientists at the JRC shows how the wider and more coordinated use of innovative molecular technologies can help foil fisheries fraud and make sure consumers get what they pay for and know what they are eating."

Labelling fish and fish products with a false species name or declaring false geographic origins are two common fraudulent techniques in the fisheries sector. The report describes how molecular methods, such as those based on DNA-technology, make it possible to identify species even in processed products, without the need for expert knowledge. Molecular technologies are therefore a powerful tool for independent control and can assist verification procedures, especially during the so-called "physical examination" of a consignment, product, container, storage place, etc.

The JRC report advocates a coherent and practical EU-wide approach towards making new molecular technologies available to European control and enforcement authorities.

It aims to promote an informed dialogue among the various stakeholders and proposes the following concrete measures:

  • stepping up dissemination of relevant information and advice to all stakeholders;
  • giving analytical laboratories in the Member States access to common repositories of reference data and other relevant knowledge for the analysis of fish and fish products. These repositories could be similar to the "fishtrace" database (www.fishtrace.org), hosted by the JRC;
  • a network of certified test laboratories to carry out analysis for control and enforcement purposes and to share harmonised and validated analytical protocols;
  • ensuring full training of inspectors and laboratory staff for proper sample handling and analysis.

The JRC is currently assessing costs and benefits based on data from more than 100 reported cases to facilitate the practical implementation of the technologies concerned. The costs of many of these technologies, in particular for DNA analysis, have been falling sharply.

Background

To improve the traceability of fish products and combat illegal fishing, the Commission is currently investing in the implementation of the IUU regulation (see MEMO/09/2002), under which all marine fishery products must be accompanied by validated catch certificates. It is up to competent authorities in the Member States to validate certificates. State-of-the-art control technologies, like the ones described in the new JRC report, can contribute to this process.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by European Commission, Joint Research Centre (JRC). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

European Commission, Joint Research Centre (JRC). "What fish is on your plate? How new technologies can tackle fishing fraud." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 May 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110527080329.htm>.
European Commission, Joint Research Centre (JRC). (2011, May 28). What fish is on your plate? How new technologies can tackle fishing fraud. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110527080329.htm
European Commission, Joint Research Centre (JRC). "What fish is on your plate? How new technologies can tackle fishing fraud." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110527080329.htm (accessed October 21, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

White Lion Cubs Born in Belgrade Zoo

White Lion Cubs Born in Belgrade Zoo

AFP (Oct. 20, 2014) Two white lion cubs, an extremely rare subspecies of the African lion, were recently born at Belgrade Zoo. They are being bottle fed by zoo keepers after they were rejected by their mother after birth. Duration: 00:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional Farming Methods Gaining Ground in Mali

Traditional Farming Methods Gaining Ground in Mali

AFP (Oct. 20, 2014) He is leading a one man agricultural revolution in Mali - Oumar Diatabe uses traditional farming methods to get the most out of his land and is teaching others across the country how to do the same. Duration: 01:44 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Goliath Spider Will Give You Nightmares

Goliath Spider Will Give You Nightmares

Buzz60 (Oct. 20, 2014) An entomologist stumbled upon a South American Goliath Birdeater. With a name like that, you know it's a terrifying creepy crawler. Sean Dowling (@SeanDowlingTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Adorable Video of Baby Rhino and Lamb Friend Playing

Adorable Video of Baby Rhino and Lamb Friend Playing

Buzz60 (Oct. 20, 2014) Gertjie the Rhino and Lammie the Lamb are teaching the world about animal conservation and friendship. TC Newman (@PurpleTCNewman) has the adorable video! Video provided by Buzz60
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

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