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Ethical Performance: New method identifies sustainably caught fish
By Brian Collett — A scientific analysis has been devised to discover the origins of caught fish so that customers can be sure they are derived from sustainable sources.
A team at Southampton University discovered that jellyfish had chemical compositions unique to the North Sea locations where they were caught. Then they found many of the same chemical signatures were present in North Sea herring and scallops.
With this information they were able to draw a map showing areas of the sea and the chemical compositions of the fish and sea creatures occupying them.
Traders could use the analysis method to pinpoint the origin of catches, making sure they come from stretches of water with sustainable stocks and minimising fraud from suppliers.
Dr Clive Trueman, who jointly headed the Southampton research, said: “Understanding the origin of fish or fish products is increasingly important as we try to manage our marine resources more effectively. Fish from sustainable fisheries can fetch a premium price, but concerned consumers need to be confident that fish really were caught from sustainable sources.”
The research follows an RNA-analysing sensor developed by South Florida University to confirm the species of caught fish or seafood and remove another fraud threat.