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LABELFISH

The traceability of food, including seafood, has been mandatory in the EU since 2005. Traceability as ‘the ability to trace the history, application or location of an entity by means of recorded identifications, in a sense of product, can be related to the origin of materials and components, the history of the development of products or distribution and location of the product after production’ (ISO 8402:1994). Full implementation of traceability requires proper handling and transfer of information and the availability of techniques for the verification of the information provided.

The AA regions are characterized by an intense social and economic relationship with marine resources. Most of them are related to fisheries and aquaculture in a major way. For these regions, the traceability of fishery products and the labelling is important because, as producers, some of their products are threatened by low-cost products imported from third countries which are sometimes of dubious origin or manipulated and/or made with poor practices.

The main objective of LABELFISH is creating a network of laboratories and national control bodies with experience and interest in the development of a common strategy and the use of harmonization of analytical techniques for the control of traceability and genetic labelling of marine products sold in the European market and in particular in the countries involved in the project.

This overall objective has as specific purposes, the development of a new database that meets existing DNA genetic data and the selection and analytical tools validated for the identification of commercial fish species importance in selected regions of the AA.

The main expected outcomes are the protection of European consumers and SMEs involved in fisheries and aquaculture in the Atlantic regions. The former by helping to ensure their rights to have precise product information and the latter by deploying reliable traceability and genetic authentication tools ultimately to protect their products and their market niche.

The database will constitute the key prototype at the European level, which can be a set of reference laboratories for the determination of species, populations and likely source of selected fish groups. This function will serve as a tool to support EU policies on conservation, combating fraud and protecting consumers.

www.labelfish.eu

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