Fish labelling needs to improve, claims expert

08th April 2013 - Fine Cut

The mislabelling of fish has the potential to become as big as the horsemeat scandal as one report suggests cheap fish is being labelled as expensive fish.

According to Peter Shears, a consumer issues expert writing for thisisplymouth.co.uk, fisheries are being deceptive when it comes to the types of fish up for sale.

For instance, Shears cites one report which suggests seven per cent of cod and haddock in the UK features cheaper varieties of fish such as pollock and Vietnamese pangasius.

In Ireland, shops and supermarkets showed that 25 per cent of products labelled as cod or haddock were made of different species while in mainland Europe, a quarter to a third of fish products turned out to be 'not what was described on the packet or menu', claims Shears.

On the other hand the UK is, comparatively, 'better than many of its peers' when it comes to labelling seafood accurately, claims the report.

As a result, using the right product labels for the right types of fish remains absolutely integral - in the fishing industry as well as many other food and manufacturing sectors.

Paul Williams, chief executive of industry body Seafish, believes that labelling is unacceptable and 'damaging to the sector'.

Speaking to thegrocer.co.uk, he said: "Consumer confidence in the traceability of seafood is essential, and the UK seafood supply chain has robust systems and procedures in place to mitigate issues in the labelling and traceability of products."

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