SENASA Costa Rica has a new tool to stop illegal sail fishing.
The Nationa Animal Health Service (Senasa) now has a new tool to halt illegal sail fishing. A three-year-old law has banned catching and selling the fish.
But despite this, commercial fishermen have continued the practice, aided by the fact that, cut up into pieces and frozen, the meat is often passed off as that of legal species, including tuna.
But a year ago, the Pronature organization donated sophisticated equipment to Senasa to allow officials to analyze fish at the market and identify sailfish meat, through DNA.
Despite international policy regulations and ‘eco-labelling’, illegal, unreported or unregulated (IUU) fishing is still thriving worldwide. To tackle this problem a group of international researchers came up with a possible tool based on genetic testing. The results of their research were recently published in Nature Communications.
DNA-based tools are ideal for identifying the origin of fish and fish products, since DNA is found in all cells and can be extracted even from fried fish. The researchers used gene-associated markers which can recognise variances between genes that evolved through adaptation to different local conditions. They first had to identify population specific markers and then test how accurately they could assign animals to those populations based on these DNA markers. They found a respectable 93-100% accuracy in assigning individuals to their origin. …. read more at DNA Helps Stop Illegal Sailfish Fishing in Costa Rica