The European Union’s Seafoodplus project has launched a free DNA database designed to enable companies producing, distributing or selling seafood to ensure traceability across the supply chain.
The database will make it easier for companies to comply with EU regulations on identifying fish species by their scientific names to avoid fraud, and ensure fish products are correctly labelled.
The database, which is free to use, contains more than 700 records of the mitochondrial DNA sequences of the most important commercial species in Europe, including the Gadidae or cod family, the Thunnus genus, tuna and the Merlucciidae family, such as hake.
Apart from providing a way for producers to label their goods correctly, the database can be used to as the basis for developing new identification techniques. And because it will in effect create a European standard, the database will also make it possible to compare results obtained in different quality control laboratories.
At €26 million, Seafoodplus is the biggest research project the EU has financed in the seafood sector. About 70 partners from 17 states are participating. The project has two major elements: an R&D portfolio and a training and dissemination programme.