fish fraud (4)

1616616305041?e=1619654400&v=beta&t=XYAFbfDlinVazIDS3Rar2BUkVVLK_ypq0_nDOwhm0bwThe Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has published a report on fish species substitution surveillance.

Fish filets in fresh, frozen, dried, or salted format were collected to determine if the common name was accurately represented in relation to the species of fish. CFIA inspectors collected fish samples at domestic processors, importers and retail establishments (fish packaged at retail). The Ministère de l'Agriculture, Pêcheries et l'Alimentation du Québec (MAPAQ) collected retail samples in Québec. From April 1, 2019 to March 31, 2020, 362 samples were collected from across Canada.

The samples were tested at a CFIA laboratory using DNA-based fish species identification testing. This method compares DNA of samples against DNA barcode sequences for known fish species contained in a database.

The results showed that 92% of the samples tested were assessed as being satisfactory.

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The True Cost of Illicit Fisheries

4144311116?profile=RESIZE_710xA research paper has just been published outlining the true cost of illegal, unreported and unregulated fisheries around the world on 143 countries. The paper estimates that the annual magnitude of the unregulated, illicit trade in marine fish catch globally is between 8 and 14 million metric tons,   suggesting gross revenues of US$9 - 17 billion associated with these catches. The estimated loss in annual economic impact due to the diversion of fish from the legitimate trade system is estimated at US$26 - 50 billion, while losses to countries’ tax revenues are between US$2 - 4 billion. This trade is having a disproportionat impact on the nutritional status and economic wellbeing of countries in Africa, Asia and South America in particular. This trade is mostly carried out by a large factory ships, which take the fish overseas without unloading or processing in the fishing ground host countries, thereby depriving local economies of tax, income, and jobs, and leading to depletion of the regions fish stocks.

Read the article here or the full research paper

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This report (Fisheries and Aquaculture Circular No. 1165. Rome, Italy) prepared by Alan Reilly (ex head of FSA-Ireland)  presents evidence highlighting the serious consequences of fraud for the fish sector. It describes the different types of fraud that can take place along the fish supply chain, for example: intentional mislabelling, species substitution, overglazing and overbreading, and the use of added water and undeclared water-binding agents to increase weight. 

It  shows that combating fish fraud is a complex task that requires the strengthening of national food regulatory programmes and the development of effective, science-based traceability systems and improved methods for fish authenticity testing. It highlights the need for the fish industry to develop and implement systems for fish fraud vulnerability assessment in order to identify potential sources of fish fraud within their supply chains, and to prioritise control measures to minimize the risk of receiving fraudulent or adulterated raw materials or ingredients. The publication also indicates an important role for the Codex Alimentarius Commission – to work in collaboration with countries inorder to develop international principles and guidelines designed to identify, manage and mitigate fraudulent practices in food trade and to develop guidelines to standardise food safety management systems for fish fraud vulnerability assessment. 

 Read the abstract here, and the full report

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Pangasius Substitution in Restaurants in the USA

This paper reports a survey in 37 restaurants in a SE USA city analysing 47 fish dishes on the use of Pangasius, a Vietnamese catfish. Twenty seven percent of declared American catfish dishes, 22% of grouper dishes, and 67% of dishes using just the description "fish" were substituted with Pangasius.This indicated the widespread use of Pangasius in restaurant catering either for economic and/or fraudulent reasons.

Read the abstract at:

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