by | Jan 28, 2020 | 0 comments

What’s that fish? OGL tackles seafood security

Have you ever wondered how the fish on your plate is identified? How do you know if a fish is labeled correctly? Unfortunately, seafood mislabeling is a major problem that negatively effects consumers, marine conservation, sustainable fisheries management, and public health.

 

The good news is that OGL researchers and their collaborators are working to tackle this problem. This week at the Global Seafood Market Conference (GSMC), OGL Director Dan Distel will describe OGL’s work in this area! Thanks to a new grant from the National Fisheries Institute’s Seafood Industry Research Fund (SIRF), OGL is building the Seafood Genome Reference Collection (SGRC), a valuable tool for supporting the development of new DNA-based seafood identification methods.

 

The SGRC is a comprehensive and accessible public DNA, data, and tissue repository. It makes DNA-based seafood species identification possible by providing reference samples and DNA sequence data (DNA barcodes) to which unknown seafood samples can be compared. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) accepts DNA barcodes as a way to identify seafood species; however, there are limitations to DNA barcoding. The process requires DNA sequencing, which is slow, expensive, and requires large and complicated equipment.

 

Fortunately, with help from OGL and the SGRC, collaborators are developing new seafood identification methods that are faster, less expensive, and more portable — and they can be used throughout the seafood supply chain. Hopefully, methods like this will help make seafood mislabeling a thing of the past.

 

Accurately identifying fish is a key factor when tackling seafood security.

Interested in helping to advance important OGL projects like the SGRC? Support OGL’s advancements in biotechnology here!

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