Low mislabeling rates indicate marked improvements in European seafood market operations
Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment
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Over the span of a decade, genetic identification methods have progressively exposed the inadequacies of the seafood supply chain, revealing previously unrecognized levels of seafood fraud, raising awareness among the public, and serving as a warning to industry that malpractice will be detected. Here we present the outcome of the latest and largest multi-species, transnational survey of fish labeling accuracy to date, which demonstrates an apparent sudden reduction of seafood mislabeling in Europe. We argue that recent efforts in legislation, governance, and outreach have had a positive impact on industry regulation. Coordinated, technology-based, policy-oriented actions can play a pivotal role in shaping a transparent, sustainable global seafood market and in bolstering healthier oceans.
This study is part of the LABELFISH project(www.labelfish.eu), supported by the EU Atlantic AreaProgramme (project number 2011-1/163) and the UKDepartment for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs(grant FA0116). All sequence data used are available onthe Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD) and NationalCenter for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) databases(see Web-only materials), and have been uploaded towww.labelfish.eu. We are grateful to D Miller for com-ments on earlier versions of the manuscript, and to themany stakeholders willing to discuss their experienceswith the seafood supply chain. We also thank A Clay, HHillewaert, K Vanhalst, and the World Wildlife Fund forthe fish images in Figure 1
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Vol. 13, pp. 536 - 540