This report (Fisheries and Aquaculture Circular No. 1165. Rome, Italy) prepared by Alan Reilly (ex head of FSA-Ireland) 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 added water and undeclared water-binding agents to increase weight.
It 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 prioritise 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 inorder to develop international principles and guidelines designed to identify, manage and mitigate fraudulent practices in food trade and to develop guidelines to standardise food safety management systems for fish fraud vulnerability assessment.