Oceana Tracks Global Seafood Fraud With New Interactive Map
Oceana launched its campaign to Stop Seafood Fraud in 2011 to ensure that seafood sold in the U.S. is safe, legally caught and honestly labeled. Oceana’s campaign activities include determining the true identity of seafood through DNA testing, revealing fraud and urging decision makers to take action.
In 2013, we released a report with the results of more than 1,200 samples of fish from across the country and found that 33 percent was mislabeled. Many other scientists, conservation and consumer organizations, journalists, and students have studied seafood fraud around the world too—including investigations in 29 countries and on all continents except Antarctica—and every study has uncovered fraud.
To keep track of the current state of seafood fraud, Oceana compiled a global map displaying more than 100 studies that focus on seafood fraud or substitutions of different seafood species from the one on the label. This map displays the most current and comprehensive review of seafood fraud literature to date.
Each fish on the map represents a different study about seafood mislabeling or species substitution. For studies conducted in multiple locations, a fish icon is placed on each sampling area included in the study. The colors of the fish indicate the amount of mislabeling found in each study, with darker red colors indicating higher levels of fraud:
Here are some tips on how to use the map:
To hide the legend, click on the arrow found on the top right hand corner of the legend (next to “Seafood Fraud: A Global Problem”). To expand to a full screen view, click on the link provided below the map. If the map is slow to load, please refresh the page.
Add or remove layers by checking or unchecking the boxes in the legend on the left-hand side:
Click on an icon to learn more about the study. To access the study directly, use the “Link” provided by copying and pasting it into your browser.
Search for where seafood fraud has been found near you and worldwide. To do this, type your location into the search bar on the top of the page. For example, here are the results for “Florida, United States.”
Seafood fraud has implications for health, our wallets and our oceans.
Seafood fraud can harm public health. King mackerel, a high mercury fish native to the Western Atlantic, was passed off as lower mercury fish not only in Oceana’s U.S. study, but also in South Africa, posing a threat to pregnant women and children. Escolar, a fish that can cause extremely unpleasant gastrointestinal effects, turned up fraudulently labeled as “white tuna” in the U.S., as “sablefish” in the Philippines and as “mackerel” in the Czech Republic. Seafood fraud also cheats consumers when lower cost species are passed off as more expensive ones, like swapping tilapia for red snapper. Furthermore, seafood fraud hurts our oceans as it enables illegally caught seafood, such as endangered sturgeon caviar, to be laundered in the marketplace.
Requiring traceability—tracking fish from boat to plate—will help to curb the issue of seafood fraud.
More information that follows our fish through the supply chain will not only ensure that fish were legally caught, but also allows for faster recalls when needed, deters fraudulent activities and helps target enforcement to prevent seafood fraud.
Contact us at [email protected] with questions or comments, or to let us know of any additional studies about seafood fraud.
This article was originally published on Oceana’s blog.
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theDOCK aims to innovate the Israeli maritime sector. Pexels<p>The UN hopes that new investments in ocean science and technology will help turn the tide for the oceans. As such, this year kicked off the <a href="https://www.oceandecade.org/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030)</a> to galvanize massive support for the blue economy.</p><p>According to the World Bank, the blue economy is the "sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods, and jobs while preserving the health of ocean ecosystem," <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0160412019338255#b0245" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Science Direct</a> reported. It represents this new sector for investments and innovations that work in tandem with the oceans rather than in exploitation of them.</p><p>As recently as Aug. 2020, <a href="https://www.reutersevents.com/sustainability/esg-investors-slow-make-waves-25tn-ocean-economy" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Reuters</a> noted that ESG Investors, those looking to invest in opportunities that have a positive impact in environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues, have been interested in "blue finance" but slow to invest.</p><p>"It is a hugely under-invested economic opportunity that is crucial to the way we have to address living on one planet," Simon Dent, director of blue investments at Mirova Natural Capital, told Reuters.</p><p>Even with slow investment, the blue economy is still expected to expand at twice the rate of the mainstream economy by 2030, Reuters reported. It already contributes $2.5tn a year in economic output, the report noted.</p><p>Current, upward <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/-innovation-blue-economy-2646147405.html" target="_self">shifts in blue economy investments are being driven by innovation</a>, a trend the UN hopes will continue globally for the benefit of all oceans and people.</p><p>In Israel, this push has successfully translated into investment in and innovation of global ports, shipping, logistics and offshore sectors. The "Startup Nation," as Israel is often called, has seen its maritime tech ecosystem grow "significantly" in recent years and expects that growth to "accelerate dramatically," <a href="https://itrade.gov.il/belgium-english/how-israel-is-becoming-a-port-of-call-for-maritime-innovation/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">iTrade</a> reported.</p><p>Driving this wave of momentum has been rising Israeli venture capital hub <a href="https://www.thedockinnovation.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">theDOCK</a>. Founded by Israeli Navy veterans in 2017, theDOCK works with early-stage companies in the maritime space to bring their solutions to market. The hub's pioneering efforts ignited Israel's maritime technology sector, and now, with their new fund, theDOCK is motivating these high-tech solutions to also address ESG criteria.</p><p>"While ESG has always been on theDOCK's agenda, this theme has become even more of a priority," Nir Gartzman, theDOCK's managing partner, told EcoWatch. "80 percent of the startups in our portfolio (for theDOCK's Navigator II fund) will have a primary or secondary contribution to environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria."</p><p>In a company presentation, theDOCK called contribution to the ESG agenda a "hot discussion topic" for traditional players in the space and their boards, many of whom are looking to adopt new technologies with a positive impact on the planet. The focus is on reducing carbon emissions and protecting the environment, the presentation outlines. As such, theDOCK also explicitly screens candidate investments by ESG criteria as well.</p><p>Within the maritime space, environmental innovations could include measures like increased fuel and energy efficiency, better monitoring of potential pollution sources, improved waste and air emissions management and processing of marine debris/trash into reusable materials, theDOCK's presentation noted.</p>
theDOCK team includes (left to right) Michal Hendel-Sufa, Head of Alliances, Noa Schuman, CMO, Nir Gartzman, Co-Founder & Managing Partner, and Hannan Carmeli, Co-Founder & Managing Partner. Dudu Koren<p>theDOCK's own portfolio includes companies like Orca AI, which uses an intelligent collision avoidance system to reduce the probability of oil or fuel spills, AiDock, which eliminates the use of paper by automating the customs clearance process, and DockTech, which uses depth "crowdsourcing" data to map riverbeds in real-time and optimize cargo loading, thereby reducing trips and fuel usage while also avoiding groundings.</p><p>"Oceans are a big opportunity primarily because they are just that – big!" theDOCK's Chief Marketing Officer Noa Schuman summarized. "As such, the magnitude of their criticality to the global ecosystem, the magnitude of pollution risk and the steps needed to overcome those challenges – are all huge."</p><p>There is hope that this wave of interest and investment in environmentally-positive maritime technologies will accelerate the blue economy and ESG investing even further, in Israel and beyond.</p>
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