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Generic names and mislabeling conceal high species diversity in global fisheries markets

Cawthorn, D-M, Baillie, C and Mariani, S (2018) Generic names and mislabeling conceal high species diversity in global fisheries markets. Conservation Letters, 11 (5). ISSN 1755-263X

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Abstract

Consumers have the power to influence conservation of marine fishes by selectively purchasing sustainably harvested species. Yet, this power is hindered by vague labeling and seafood fraud, which may mask market biodiversity and lead to inadvertent consumption of threatened species. Here, we investigate the repercussions of such labeling inaccuracies for one of the world's most highly prized families of fishes‐–the snappers (Family: Lutjanidae). By DNA barcoding 300 “snapper” samples collected from six countries, we show that the lax application of this umbrella term and widespread mislabeling (40%) conceal the identities of at least 67 species from 16 families in global marketplaces, effectively lumping taxa for sale that derive from an array of disparately managed fisheries and have markedly different conservation concerns. Bringing this trade into the open should compel a revision of international labeling and traceability policies, as well as enforcement measures, which currently allow such extensive biodiversity to be consumed unknowingly.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Science & Technology; Life Sciences & Biomedicine; Biodiversity Conservation; Biodiversity & Conservation; DNA barcoding; fish; IUU fishing; mislabeling; snapper; species identification; traceability; SOUTH-AFRICA; SEAFOOD; TRADE; SUSTAINABILITY; SUBSTITUTION; SNAPPER
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
S Agriculture > SH Aquaculture. Fisheries. Angling
Divisions: Biological & Environmental Sciences (new Sep 19)
Publisher: Wiley
Related URLs:
Date Deposited: 06 Mar 2020 10:05
Last Modified: 06 Mar 2020 10:15
DOI or Identification number: 10.1111/conl.12573
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/12407

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