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What fish is on your plate?
Date:5/27/2011

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 today 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 mo
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Contact: Berta Duane
berta.duane@ec.europa.eu
39-033-278-9743
European Commission Joint Research Centre
Source:Eurekalert

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