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Gene-associated markers provide tools for tackling illegal fishing and false eco-certification
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. Th.; McEwing, R.; Panitz, F.; Patarnello, T.; Tinti, F.; Van Houdt, J.K.J.; Volckaert, F.A.M.; Waples, R.S.; FishPopTrace Consortium; Carvalho, G.R. (2012). Gene-associated markers provide tools for tackling illegal fishing and false eco-certification. Nature Comm. 3(851): 6 pp. dx.doi.org/10.1038/ncomms1845
In: Nature Communications. Nature Publishing Group: London. ISSN 2041-1723, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in Authors 

Keywords
    Biomarkers; Certification; Genetic markers; Illegal fishing; Marine
Author keywords
    Ecolabelling

Authors  Top 
  • Nielsen, E.E., more
  • Cariani, A., more
  • Mac Aoidh, E.
  • Maes, G.E., more
  • Milano, I.
  • Ogden, R.
  • Taylor, M.
  • Hemmer-Hansen, J.
  • Babbucci, M.
  • Bargelloni, L.
  • Bekkevold, D., more
  • Diopere, E., more
  • Grenfell, L.
  • Helyar, S.
  • Limborg, M.T.
  • Martinsohn, J. Th.
  • McEwing, R.
  • Panitz, F.
  • Patarnello, T.
  • Tinti, F., more
  • Van Houdt, J.K.J., more
  • Volckaert, F.A.M., more
  • Waples, R.S.
  • FishPopTrace Consortium
  • Carvalho, G.R., more

Abstract
    Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated fishing has had a major role in the overexploitation of global fish populations. In response, international regulations have been imposed and many fisheries have been 'eco-certified' by consumer organizations, but methods for independent control of catch certificates and eco-labels are urgently needed. Here we show that, by using gene-associated single nucleotide polymorphisms, individual marine fish can be assigned back to population of origin with unprecedented high levels of precision. By applying high differentiation single nucleotide polymorphism assays, in four commercial marine fish, on a pan-European scale, we find 93–100% of individuals could be correctly assigned to origin in policy-driven case studies. We show how case-targeted single nucleotide polymorphism assays can be created and forensically validated, using a centrally maintained and publicly available database. Our results demonstrate how application of gene-associated markers will likely revolutionize origin assignment and become highly valuable tools for fighting illegal fishing and mislabelling worldwide.

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