Analysis reveals “substitution of fish” in Yucatan businesses

(Photo: Yucatán a la mano)

Gato X Liebre carried out an investigation called Fraud Detectives, with which it identifies the substitution of fish species, and in 43 percent of cases you’re not getting what you’re paying for.

(La Jornada Maya).-With information from the report, which you can read here, dogfish and cod are usually replaced by blacktip sharks, graceful sharks, blue sharks; and other species such as croaker and sole fish.

Wild and domestic fish species are often substituted for Basa, a fish imported mainly from Vietnam and China; also the red snapper is exchanged for catfish, a species with an economic value three times lower.

For this identification, Gato X Liebre collected the fish samples from businesses in Merida, later, they analyzed and determined the DNA of the samples to discover the fraud in 43% of the samples analyzed.

In Mérida, they obtained 14 samples of fish, with which they made the corresponding analysis, identifying that, on average between supermarkets and fishmongers, 31 percent usually suffer substitution of seafood.

“Substitution was determined when the common name of the genetically identified species was different from the trade name under which the fish sample was sold,” the report said.

Although it is possible that the scientific name of a species may correspond to several common names, “it was considered that there was substitution when the commercial name with which the product was sold did not correspond to the common name of the species genetically identified in any of the databases consulted”.

They identified that the substitution of fish occurs mainly in those that come from wild fishing, but in no case did they find a substitution of tilapia.

They also made it clear that the substitution of species can take place in various ways: through the sale of a lower value species as a more expensive one, delivery of an imported or aquaculture species as if it were caught in Mexican seas or the sale of species in endangered or illegally captured.

This situation affects not only those customers who are being deceived in stores and restaurants, but also Mexican fishing communities that lose space in the market because imported species are sold as if they were species caught in national seas.

The Yucatan Times
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