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Marta Munoz Colmenero

Marta Munoz Colmenero

University of Oviedo

Title: Evolution of hake mislabeling niches in commercial markets


Marta Munoz Colmenero had a Degree in Biology at the age of 23 years from University of Alcala de Henares (Spain) and acquired the Master in Experimental Techniques Applied to Management and Conservation of Biological Resources from University of Oviedo (Spain). Nowadays, she is in the last year of her PhD studies at the University of Oviedo,within which she spent three months in the University of Southern California(USA). She has participated in five research projects,has published five papers in reputed research journals and has displayed her work in the Congress ECBOL-3 in Belgium and EFFOST-2013 in Italy.


Mislabeling of fish species at landing and along the commercial chain has been detected in manycountries. In the case of hake trade, identification of different species has been and continues to be achallenge. In this work we have analyzed the evolution of commercial hake mislabeling during the lastdecade, focusing on the Spanish market, the world's largest one for hake. DNA-based speciesidentification by PCR amplification and sequencing of mitochondrial genes was carried out in 234commercial samples. The result was compared with the species stated in the product label, and with 147samples analyzed in previous works. Significant changes were found throughout the decade for theproportion of mislabeled products, with differences between fresh and frozen products and a generaldecrease in frozen products. Higher mislabeling in unrecognizable versus morphologically recognizableproducts strongly suggests deliberate fraud. The diversity of substitute species increased significantly inthe period studied, even the non-hake ones. Economic losses for the consumer, estimated from thedifferences in price between the stated species and their substitutes, seemed to decrease in the last years.The results were interpreted in terms of fluctuations in hake prices and annual catch. Since correctidentification of fish species is essential to ensure the good management of species and to provide areliable market to the consumers, implementing different control points from the landings to the sellingpoints is indispensable.

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