Generic names and mislabelling conceal high species diversity in global fisheries markets

Cawthorn, DM, Baillie, C and Mariani, S ORCID: 2018, 'Generic names and mislabelling conceal high species diversity in global fisheries markets' , Conservation Letters, 11 (5) , e12573.

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Consumers have the power to influence conservation of marine fishes by selectively purchasing sustainably-harvested species. Yet, this power is hindered by vague labelling and seafood fraud, which may mask market biodiversity and lead to inadvertent consumption of threatened species. Here, we investigate the repercussions of such labelling inaccuracies for one of the world’s most highly-prized families of fishes – snappers (Family: Lutjanidae). By DNA barcoding 300 ‘snapper’ samples collected from six countries, we show that the lax application of this umbrella term and widespread mislabelling (40%) conceal the identities of at least 67 species from 16 families in global marketplaces, effectively lumping taxa for sale that derive from an array of disparately-managed fisheries and have markedly different conservation concerns. Bringing this trade into the open should compel a revision of international labelling and traceability policies, as well as enforcement measures, which currently allow such extensive biodiversity to be consumed unknowingly.

Item Type: Article
Schools: Schools > School of Environment and Life Sciences > Ecosystems and Environment Research Centre
Journal or Publication Title: Conservation Letters
Publisher: Wiley
ISSN: 1755-263X
Related URLs:
Funders: Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement
Depositing User: USIR Admin
Date Deposited: 29 May 2018 09:05
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2022 23:20

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