Tuna labels matter in Europe: Mislabelling rates in different tuna products

Type Article
Date 2018-05
Language English
Author(s) Sotelo Carmen G.1, Velasco Amaya1, Perez-Martin Ricardo, I1, Kappel Kristina2, Schroeder Ute2, Verrez-Bagnis VeroniqueORCID3, Jerome Marc3, Mendes RogerioORCID4, Silva Helena4, Mariani Stefano5, Griffiths Andrew6
Affiliation(s) 1 : CSIC, Inst Invest Marinas, Vigo, Spain.
2 : Mission Res Inc, Dept Safety & Qual Milk & Fish Prod, Hamburg, Germany.
3 : Ifremer, Nantes, France.
4 : IP, Portuguese Inst Sea & Atmosphere IPMA, Lisbon, Portugal.
5 : Univ Salford, Sch Environm & Life Sci, Ecosyst & Environm Res Ctr, Manchester, England.
6 : Univ Exeter, Biosci, Exeter, Devon, England.
Source Plos One (1932-6203) (Public Library Science), 2018-05 , Vol. 13 , N. 5 , P. e0196641 (12p.)
DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0196641
WOS© Times Cited 29

Tuna fisheries and processing represent economic activities of paramount importance around the world. Most of these products are traded for human consumption and in general are highly demanded commodities. However, not all tuna products achieve the same market price, some consumers are willing to pay a huge amount of money for certain species (i.e. Japanese market for Bluefin tuna) while other species are rather affordable (i.e. Skipjack tuna), therefore mislabelling has been observed frequently. We collected and analysed 545 tuna samples in six European countries, including fresh, frozen and canned products, and we have investigated whether or not these products were correctly labelled under European and national legislations. We found an overall mislabelling rate of 6.79%; in particular, 6.70% of the fresh and frozen tuna products and 7.84% of canned tuna were mislabelled, and only in the case of fresh and frozen tuna samples significant differences among countries were found. Mislabelling rates for Atlantic Bluefin tuna labelled products were very high, ranging from 50 up to 100%. In general, mislabelling was higher when specific names were included in the labels. The “tuna” umbrella term is a very popular one with consumers, but also one that remains vulnerable to ambiguity, hampering efforts towards market transparency and with potential negative consequences to the adequate management of tuna species stocks.

Full Text
File Pages Size Access
Publisher's official version 12 3 MB Open access
S1 Table. Tuna samples collected in six European countries between 2012 and 2014. 1 180 KB Open access
S2 Table. Commercial denominations of tuna in EU and six member states (ES, PT, UK, ROI, FR, GER). 3 267 KB Open access
S3 Table. DNA analysis methods used in this study by the participant laboratories. 1 105 KB Open access
S4 Table. Primers sequences and PCR protocols used in the study. 1 297 KB Open access
S5 Table. Number of samples of fresh and frozen tuna analysed and mislabelling results split by type of label. 1 93 KB Open access
S6 Table. Number of samples of canned tuna analysed and mislabelling results split by type of label. 1 236 KB Open access
S7 Table. Species which appear as substitute in the mislabelled samples. 2 89 KB Open access
S1 File. Tuna species identification ring trials. 3 172 KB Open access
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How to cite 

Sotelo Carmen G., Velasco Amaya, Perez-Martin Ricardo, I, Kappel Kristina, Schroeder Ute, Verrez-Bagnis Veronique, Jerome Marc, Mendes Rogerio, Silva Helena, Mariani Stefano, Griffiths Andrew (2018). Tuna labels matter in Europe: Mislabelling rates in different tuna products. Plos One, 13(5), e0196641 (12p.). Publisher's official version : https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0196641 , Open Access version : https://archimer.ifremer.fr/doc/00440/55137/