Genetic Identification of Fish Products

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Does a fish have DNA?

Of course – all living organisms have deoxyribonucleic acid or DNA! It is built from nucleotides and has the famous ‘double helix’ structure. DNA contains genetic information and instructions for protein synthesis. 

How do you identify fish?

DNA Barcoding or analysis of one, or a few, specific regions on the DNA of the target fish allows not only its identification at species level but also allows traceability along the production chain.

Why do we need to genetically identify fish products?

Fishing industry fraud is one of the most widespread problems – however it is also one of the most difficult to identify. 

Valuable fish species can be replaced with other less expensive species that are easily available or not marketable due to being potentially harmful. At the same time, the consumers’ demand for sustainability and traceability is growing globally because of the ever increasing exploitation of our fish resources.

Genetic analysis of fish species is currently the only useful method in recognising, identifying and ascertaining different specimens, particularly in the case of morphologically similar species or following the loss of distinctive characteristics due to processing.

Friend of the Sea, in collaboration with FEM2 Ambiente, has decide to use the method of DNA Barcoding to avoid frauds and to promote sustainable fishing.

Advantages of genetic identification of fish products

• Reliability of the method

• Fast working times: only a few working days are required

• Chance to work on small portions of a larger whole

• Low costs

For further information on genetic identification of fish products, please, contact quality@friendofthesea.org

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