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DNA barcoding reveals the mislabeling of fish in a popular tourist destination in Brazil.


ABSTRACT: The consumption of raw fish has increased considerably in the West, since it is said to be potentially healthier than processed fish (for containing omega 3 and 6, essential amino acids and vitamins). However this potential benefit, as well as the taste, value and even the risk of extinction are not the same for all species of fish, constituting grounds for fraud. Using the principles of the DNA barcode we revealed mislabelling of fish in Japanese restaurants and fishmarkets in Florianópolis, a popular tourist capital in Brazil. We sequenced the COI gene of 65 samples from fisheries and 80 from restaurants and diagnosed 30% of mislabeled samples in fisheries and 26% in restaurants. We discussed that frauds may have occurred for different reasons: to circumvent surveillance on threatened species; to sell fish with sizes smaller than allowed or abundant species as being a much rarer species (law of supply); to induce product consumption using species with better taste. It should be noted that some substitutions are derived from incorrect identification and are not a fraud per se; they are due to confusion of popular names or misunderstanding by the sellers. Therefore, we suggest the implementation of a systematic regulatory program conducted by governmental agencies to reduce mislabelling in order to avoid further damage to the community (in health and financial issues) and fish stocks.

SUBMITTER: Staffen CF 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC5712207 | BioStudies | 2017-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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