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Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Commission improves its fish controls

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."

Source: European Commission