Biodiversity defrosted : unveiling non-compliant fish trade in ethnic food stores

Di Muri, C, Vandamme, SG, Peace, C, Barnes, W and Mariani, S ORCID: 2018, 'Biodiversity defrosted : unveiling non-compliant fish trade in ethnic food stores' , Biological Conservation, 217 , pp. 419-427.

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Out of nearly 30,000 teleosts dwelling in our planet’s water bodies, only hundreds of them are commercially exploited and prevail on the global food market. Yet, our estimates of the species actually underpinning global trade is severely hampered by inaccuracy and non-compliance in labelling and reporting. Here, we target ethnic food stores in two British cities (Liverpool and Manchester metropolitan areas), whose numbers are increasing throughout Europe, to examine accuracy of traceability information available to consumers. Despite the existence of thorough EU labelling regulations, we unveil a high level of non-compliance, with a diverse range of poorly-known fish species, often sold without any label, or with erroneous information, as demonstrated by DNA barcoding. Results indicate that about 41% of the samples were mislabelled, in stark contrast with a recent study that, in 2015, found less than 5% mislabelling in EU supermarkets and fishmongers. These results highlight that inspectors and governments might not be fully aware of the wide diversity of fish species traded, indicating the need for a stronger enforcement of the EU labelling legislations. Compliance with regulations is required not only to protect consumers, but also fish stocks, as for many of the species identified in this survey, population assessment is poor or lacking altogether.

Item Type: Article
Schools: Schools > School of Environment and Life Sciences > Ecosystems and Environment Research Centre
Journal or Publication Title: Biological Conservation
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0006-3207
Related URLs:
Funders: EU Interreg Atlantic Area
Depositing User: Prof Stefano Mariani
Date Deposited: 11 Jan 2018 09:43
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2022 22:49

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