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Sustainable Fisheries

Publications and Reports


JRC Reference Report: "Deterring Illegal Activities in the Fisheries Sector: Genetics, Chemistry and Forensics to Fight IUU Fishing and in Support to Fish Product Traceability"

In the frame of its activities in the area of IUU fishing and fish product traceability the JRC published in 2011 a high-level report on available state-of-the-art molecular techniques and technologies to support the fight against IUU fishing and traceability schemes in the fisheries sector. The ambition of this JRC report is to catalyse an informed dialogue among the various stakeholders, thereby contributing to effective capacity building and technology transfer. To this end the report

  • Discusses how molecular technologies can be used for traceability and in support of fisheries control and enforcement;
  • Provides examples of cases where molecular techniques were employed to reveal fisheries fraud and to generate evidence in court cases;
  • Demonstrate the feasibility and operational potential of these technologies in real-world contexts;
  • Explores possibilities for translating forensic genetics and chemistry into a European fisheries control and enforcement framework, within the context of the current EU policies and legislation.

Download the report from the JRC Publications Repository or from the EU Bookshop.
View the press release (EN/FR/DE/IT/ES)
[IP/11/649 - Brussels, 27 May 2011]


Aguirre-Sarabia, I., Díaz-Arce, N., Pereda-Agirre, I., Mendibil, I., Urtizberea, A., Gerritsen, H. D., Burns, F., Holmes, I., Landa, J., Coscia, I., Quincoces, I., Santurtún, M., Zanzi, A., Martinsohn, J. T., & Rodríguez-Ezpeleta, N. (2021). Evidence of stock connectivity, hybridization, and misidentification in white anglerfish supports the need of a genetics-informed fisheries management framework. Evolutionary Applications, 14, 2221– 2230.

Rodriguez-Ezpeleta, N., Zanzi, A., Coscia, I., Quicnoces, I., Mugerza, E., Urtizberea, A., Santurtun, M., Jardim, E., Bravington, M., Martinsohn, J. (2018) GECKA: Genetic close-kin analysis on white anglerfish for abundance estimates in support of deep sea fisheries management. Poster session presented at the Annual Science Conference of the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea, Hamburg, Germany

Leone, A., Urso, I., Damalas, D., Martinsohn, J., Zanzi, A., Mariani, S., Sperone, E., Micarelli, P., Garibaldi, F., Megalofonou, P., Bargelloni, L., Franch, R., Macias, D., Prodöhl, P., Fitzpatrick, S., Stagioni, M., Tinti, F., Cariani, A. (2017) Genetic differentiation and phylogeography of Mediterranean-North Eastern Atlantic blue shark (Prionace glauca, L. 1758) using mitochondrial DNA: panmixia or complex stock structure? PeerJ 5:e4112, DOI 10.7717/peerj.4112

Zanzi, A. and Martinsohn, J. (2017) FishTrace: a genetic catalogue of European fishes. Database, Volume 2017, 1 January 2017, bax075, DOI 10.1093/database/bax075

Casey, J., Jardim, E., Martinsohn, J. T. (2016), The role of genetics in fisheries management under the E.U. common fisheries policy. J Fish Biol, 89: 2755-2767, DOI 10.1111/jfb.13151

Carvalho, G. R., Hauser, L., Martinsohn, J., Naish, K. (2016), Fish, genes and genomes: contributions to ecology, evolution and management. J Fish Biol, 89: 2471-2478, DOI 10.1111/jfb.13228

Nielsen, E.E., Cariani, A., Mac Aoidh, E., Maes, G.E., Milano, I., Ogden, R., Taylor, M., Hemmer-Hansen, J., Babbucci, M., Bargelloni, L., Bekkevold, D., Diopere, E., Grenfell, L., Helyar, S., Limborg, M.T., Martinsohn, J.T., McEwing, R., Panitz, F., Patarnello, T., Tinti, F., Van Houdt, J.K.J., Volckaert, F.A.M., Waples, R.S., Albin, J.E.J., Vieites Baptista, J.M., Barmintsev, V., Bautista, J.M., Bendixen, C., Bergé, J.-P., Blohm, D., Cardazzo, B., Diez, A., Espiñeira, M., Geffen, A.J., Gonzalez, E., González-Lavín, N., Guarniero, I., Jeráme, M., Kochzius, M., Krey, G., Mouchel, O., Negrisolo, E., Piccinetti, C., Puyet, A., Rastorguev, S., Smith, J.P., Trentini, M., Verrez-Bagnis, V., Volkov, A., Zanzi, A., Carvalho, G.R. (2012). Gene-associated markers provide tools for tackling illegal fishing and false eco-certification. Nature Communications 3, article n. 851, DOI 10.1038/ncomms1845

Martinsohn, J.T., Geffen, A.J., Maes, G.E., Nielsen, E.E., Waples, R.S., Carvalho, G.R. (2011) Tracing Fish and fish products from ocean to fork using advanced molecular technologies. In: Food Chain Integrity: A holistic approach to food traceability, safety, quality and authenticity (Ed. Hoorfar, J., Jordan, K., Prugga, R.), pp. 259-282. Woodhead Publishing

Martinsohn, J. and Ogden, R. (2009) FishPopTrace - Developing SNP-based population genetic assignment methods to investigate illegal fishing. Forensic Science International. Genetics Supp. Ser. 2: 294-296

Martinsohn, J. and Ogden, R. (2008) A forensic genetic approach to European fisheries enforcement. Forensic Science International. Genetic Suppl. Ser. 1: 610-611