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Unknowlingly consuming endangered tuna
Date:11/19/2009

re labeled "bluefin" on menus, and nine of the restaurants that sold the bluefin did not label it as such on the menu, although restaurants that did advertise bluefin were accurate in their representation and charged more for the sushi. Five of the nine samples labeled in restaurants as "white tuna" were not albacore but rather escolar.

"It is very difficult to get reliable information about the species you are eating, especially since the FDA's approved market name for all eight species of Thunnus is simply 'tuna'," says Lowenstein. New requirements that would market each species under its own name would help to clarify cases of economic fraud and allow conservation-minded consumers to avoid bluefin.

"The ability to identify species in trade is a prerequisite for CITES listing, and this research confirms that this requirement can be met," says George Amato, Director of the Sackler Institute for Comparative Genomics. "The long-term application of barcoding is the development of a hand-held identification device that anyone can use, so that wildlife management teams can seamlessly and efficiently identify a species and maybe the geographic origin of specific samples."


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Contact: Kristin Elise Phillips
kphillips@amnh.org
212-496-3419
American Museum of Natural History
Source:Eurekalert  

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