Date of Completion

2016

Document Type

Honors College Thesis

Department

Biology

Type of Thesis

Honors College, College of Arts and Science Honors

First Advisor

Professor Joe Roman

Second Advisor

Professor Melissa Pespeni

Keywords

seafood, fraud, fish, community, supported, fishery

Abstract

The seafood industry has long been plagued by the substitution of a species under a false label. Seafood mislabeling is a major concern in the management of fish and marine species. Incorrect labels hamper the ability to estimate stock size effectively, reduce consumer choice, and represent potential health hazards. The rates of seafood fraudulence have been shown to differ across businesses and markets, and in recent years, community-supported fishery programs (CSFs) have sprung up as an alternative to fish markets and grocery stores. Using genetic analysis, I show that 17 out of 41 (41.5%) samples examined from multiple markets in New Hampshire and Maine were fraudulent. The rates of fraudulent labeling differed across species and across markets, with community-supported fishery programs having the lowest levels of fraud (3 out of 10 samples, 30%) followed by restaurants (33%), fish markets (44%), sushi restaurants (50%) and grocery stores (58%). While the different levels of fraudulence between CSFs and other markets were not found to be statistically significant (p=0.36), my findings should warrant future studies with a larger sample of CSFs to determine the extent to which CSFs can help reduce seafood fraudulence.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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