Navigation Links
New means of safeguarding world fish stocks proven
Date:5/22/2012

Powerful and versatile new genetic tools that will assist in safeguarding both European fish stocks and European consumers is reported in Nature Communications (DOI 10.1038/ncomms1845 22/05/12). The paper reports on the first system proven to identify populations of fish species to a forensic level of validation.

With up to 25% of fish catches being caught illegally across the world, and with an estimated cost to Europe of up to 10 billion by 2020, the EU were eager to address the problems facing the European fishing industry. One major initiative was to fund the EU project behind the latest development: a three year, four million Euro pan-European project, called "FishPopTrace" led by Bangor University, UK.

The EU has already introduced a law requiring any fish sold in the EU to be identified with the species and region of origin on the label from 2011. The same regulation explicitly requires EU Member States to undertake pilot studies of novel traceability tools by 2013 to test the authenticity of this labelling. Furthermore, awareness and take up of the product is already in hand. In the UK, DEFRA have recently announced that they are to begin a pilot project to introduce the tools and train their own staff and the UK fishing industry to collect, manage and store the samples to forensic standards. .

Minister for the Natural Environment and Fisheries, Richard Benyon said: "Illegal fishing is not just theft from responsible fishermen and fishing communities it has a devastating impact on the fish in our seas and oceans. I'm delighted to see a project as innovative and revolutionary as FishPopTrace come to fruition. Protecting our seas and our honest fishermen from this abuse would be a remarkable achievement and I am confident that this technology will prove highly valuable in efforts to achieve sustainable fisheries globally."

Prof Gary Carvalho who headed the FishPopTrace EU consortium behind the new validation tools explains:

"A major existing problem is that it has not previously been possible to prove the exact origin of any particular fish, and in some circumstances, particularly with processed or cooked fish, it can be quite difficult even to identify the species, let alone its source of origin.

"We set out to develop a method that could be used throughout the food supply chain and across the fish industry, and have shown its effectiveness in four common European species, Atlantic Cod, Atlantic Herring, Common Sole and European Hake: each threatened by overfishing and illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. The tools can be used to identify or compare a set of pre-identified genetic markers within fish samples at any point in the consumer chain from net to plate, and to trace the fish back to their region of origin or breeding group. Such DNA-based tools can be used in tandem with existing technologies such as conventional labels, but importantly provides an independent and robust method for ad hoc tests of authenticity".

"This tool is also highly flexible. We have already identified the markers to separate populations of fish at large geographic scales, but the new methodology is powerful enough to identify fish from much smaller spatial scales, such as North Sea and Baltic cod. Moreover the system can be further developed for any fish species as required.

Far from being a punitive measure, the ethos behind the use of such tools is to assist the fishing industry, providing greater assurance of the population of origin and conservation status of the catch. The tool has application in validating various eco-certification and eco-labelling systems currently in use, but which are typically un-validated. Those charged with ensuring conservation and sustainability of our fish stocks will have a far greater ability not only to identify populations at risk or thriving but also a forensically validated system that can be used to test authenticity at any point in the supply chain to enforce the relevant legislation.

Last but not least, consumers will be able to purchase fish, confident in the knowledge that they are buying or eating the product described on the label or the menu and that their purchases are from sustainable fish stocks.

With the results validated, once rolled out, we can expect a greater number of cases to be brought before European courts, with the forensic evidence to support them, in much the same way that forensics is used as evidence in human crimes.

Carvalho concludes: "Illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing has had a major role in the overexploitation of global fish populations. Improving this technology and spearheading its application in Europe, these new tools provide a new way forward for managing global fish resources, will revolutionise origin assignment and become highly valuable tools for fighting illegal fishing and mislabelling worldwide.


'/>"/>

Contact: Elinor Elis-Williams
press@bangor.ac.uk
44-124-838-3298
Bangor University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Science means innovation
2. Preventing home invasions means fighting side-by-side for coral-dwelling crabs and shrimp
3. Research offers means to detoxify mycotoxin-contaminated grain intended for ethanol, animal feed
4. Researchers provide means of monitoring cellular interactions
5. UCI study points to new means of overcoming antiviral resistance in influenza
6. Sharing musical instruments means sharing germs
7. Warming climate means red deer rutting season arrives early
8. Eating healthier means living longer
9. Faster water flow means greater diversity of invertebrate marine life
10. Study: The bright red of cardinals means less in urban areas
11. NPL unveils quantitative means of monitoring ultrasonic cleaning systems
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:1/20/2016)... Jan. 20, 2016  Synaptics Incorporated (NASDAQ: ... solutions, today announced sampling of S1423, its newest ... and small screen applications including smartwatches, fitness trackers, ... round and rectangular shapes, as well as thick ... with moisture on screen, while wearing gloves, and ...
(Date:1/13/2016)... --> --> ... report titled - Biometric Sensors Market - Global Industry Analysis, ... to the report, the global biometric sensors market was valued at ... US$1,625.8 mn by 2023, expanding at a CAGR of ... the biometric sensors market is expected to reach 1,799.6 ...
(Date:1/11/2016)... CHICAGO , Jan. 11, 2016  higi, ... via nearly 10,000 retail locations, web and mobile, ... than $40 million from existing investors. ... will be devoted to further innovate higi,s health ... app and web portal – including expanding services ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/11/2016)... ... February 11, 2016 , ... ... focused on the development and manufacture of biopharmaceuticals and therapeutics, announces an ... the 2016 BioProcess International Awards – Recognizing Excellence in the People, Organizations ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... , Feb. 11, 2016   BioInformant announces ... "Stem Cell Research Products, Opportunities, Tools, and Technologies – ... The ... the stem cell industry, BioInformant has more than a ... stem cell market, by stem cell type. This powerful ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... ... February 11, 2016 , ... Global Stem Cells ... in Quito, Ecuador. The new facility will provide advanced protocols and state-of-the-art techniques ... the world. , The new GSCG clinic is headed by four prominent ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... , Feb. 10, 2016  The Maryland House of ... has announced that University of Maryland School of Medicine ... and University of Maryland Medical System President and CEO ... "Speaker,s Medallion," the highest honor given to the public ... Dean Reece and Mr. Chrencik for ...
Breaking Biology Technology: