Overview of food fraud in the fisheries sector

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By Milthon Lujan

Rome, Italy.- Fish fraud is committed when fish is illegally placed on the market with the intention of deceiving the customer, usually for financial gain. However, its precise scale and nature in the wider global food market is largely unknown. This publication presents evidence highlighting the serious consequences of fraud for the fish sector. It describes the different types of fraud that can take place along the fish supply chain, for example: intentional mislabelling, species substitution, overglazing and overbreading, and the use of undeclared water-binding agents to increase weight.


This publication shows that combating fish fraud is a complex task that requires the strengthening of national food regulatory programmes and the development of effective, science-based traceability systems and improved methods for fish authenticity testing. It highlights the need for the fish industry to develop and implement systems for fish fraud vulnerability assessment in order to identify potential sources of fish fraud within their supply chains, and to prioritize control measures to minimize the risk of receiving fraudulent or adulterated raw materials or ingredients. The publication also indicates an important role for the Codex Alimentarius Commission – to work in collaboration with countries in order to develop international principles and guidelines designed to identify, manage and mitigate fraudulent practices in food trade and to develop guidelines to standardize food safety management systems for fish fraud vulnerability assessment.

Reference (open).-
FAO. 2018. Overview of food fraud in the fisheries sector, by Alan Reilly. Fisheries and Aquaculture Circular No. 1165. Rome, Italy. 

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