LABELFISH will set up a network of laboratories and national bodies to develop a common strategy and use harmonized analytical techniques to control genetic traceability and labelling of seafood products sold on the Atlantic Area market.
Do you know what food traceability is?
Traceability of food, including fish and seafood, is mandatory in the EU since 2005, it is the “the ability to trace the history, application or location of an entity by means of recorded identifications. In a product sense, it may relate to the origin of materials and parts, the product processing history or the distribution and location of the product after delivery” (ISO8402, 1994). In recent years a substantial amount of both national and international research has been invested in the development of genetic methods for the identification of commercially relevant fish species and their populations. However, there is still a need to harmonize those methodologies among the user laboratories and also to update databases of reference samples and genetic profiles of commercially relevant samples in order to provide a standardized response regardless of the country or laboratory where the analyses are performed.
Benefits for the cooperation area
Atlantic area Regions are characterized by an intense economic and social relationship with marine resources. Most of them have important fishery and aquaculture industries, consequently seafood traceability and labelling is important for Atlantic regions since, as producers, some of their products are threatened by low cost third countries imports of sometimes dubious origin or handled and produced with deficient practices.
The project will contribute to the protection of European consumers by helping to ensure their rights to correct product information are safeguarded, and SMEs involved in fisheries and aquaculture in the Atlantic regions by implementing reliable traceability and genetic authentication tools ultimately helping to protect their own products and market niche.
- Development of a new database to gather different existing genetic data (mostly DNA genetic markers)
- Selection of tested and validated analytical tools for the identification of the selected fish species with commercial importance in the Atlantic area regions.
The database will be the essential first prototype of a European capability that may be a set of reference laboratories, for determining species, populations and probable origin of the selected fish groups. This capability will serve as a tool to support European Union policies regarding conservation, anti-fraud and consumer protection.