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Sustainable Fisheries

Genetic traceability tools for the origin assignment of commercial fish and fish products (FA0118)

In April 2012 The United Kingdom government launched a project that aims to directly utilize the outputs of FishPopTrace to address fish traceability issues. The research, funded by the UK Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and led by TRACE Wildlife Forensics Network, a FishPopTrace partner, will focus on the transfer of DNA marker systems for identifying the geographic origin of cod, hake, herring and sole that are of relevance to government, industry and NGO stakeholders in the UK. The project represents a clear example of how EU FP7 funded research can provide the basis and incentive for member states to start applying novel technologies to fisheries monitoring, control and enforcement. Moreover this project is fully in line with Article 13 of Council Regulation (EC) No. 1224/2009, where the assessment of fish(eries) traceability tools based o genetics is strongly endorsed [1]. In addition to Defra and TRACE, the work is being undertaken in partnership with LGC, a laboratory testing company in the UK, and in collaboration with a broad panel of stakeholder groups with an interest in UK fisheries. For more information, please contact the project manager, Dr Rob Ogden (rob.ogden@tracenetwork.org).

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The principle of genetic origin assignment for traceability purposes: An unidentified fish specimen is routinely sampled at a fishmonger stall. A genetic analysis reveals that the sample is cod and can be assigned with certainty as originating in the North Sea.

Source: The FishPopTrace Brochure [Download brochure]

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[1] COUNCIL REGULATION (EC) No 1224/2009 of 20 November 2009 establishing a Community control system for ensuring compliance with the rules of the common fisheries policy, amending Regulations (EC) No 847/96, (EC) No 2371/2002, (EC) No 811/2004, (EC) No 768/2005, (EC) No 2115/2005, (EC) No 2166/2005, (EC) No 388/2006, (EC) No 509/2007, (EC) No 676/2007, (EC) No 1098/2007, (EC) No 1300/2008, (EC) No 1342/2008 and repealing Regulations (EEC) No 2847/93, (EC) No 1627/94 and (EC) No 1966/2006." Official Journal of the European Union L 343: 1.

Article 13 "New technologies": 1. The Council may decide on the basis of Article 37 of the Treaty on the obligation to use electronic monitoring devices and traceability tools such as genetic analysis. In order to assess the technology to be used, Member States, on their own initiative or in cooperation with the Commission or the body designated by it, shall carry out pilot projects on traceability tools such as genetic analysis before 1 June 2013.