Yellow jack caught in fishing net.
Cracking down on illegal fishing
16 June 2009
The international fishing industry has taken big steps in recent years towards improving the sustainability of fish stocks. Despite this, illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing is still a major problem in many areas of the world's oceans.
With fish stocks plummeting, scientists are under pressure to develop a tool that will strengthen fisheries legislation and support effective management.
Professor Gary Carvalho of Bangor University is working on a technique - as part of an international project - that will allow fish to be traced back to where they were caught.
By combining genetic and chemical analyses the scientists will be able to tell exactly what type of fish is in a fish finger as well as where it comes from.
But we're not just talking fish fingers. The technique is so powerful that scientists will be able to identify mashed, frozen, cooked or processed fish.
Click the play button above to listen now.
And because it's based on genetic information, it'll be accurate enough to stand up in a court of law. The plan is for there to be no areas of the ocean where illegal fishing can continue undetected.
Science writer and broadcaster Richard Hollingham visits Gary and his colleague Dr Sarah Helyar to find out more.
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