Consumer fraud in the labelling of fish in the EU


A new study by Oceana has again highlighted the seriousness of consumer fraud in the labelling of fish in the EU. The study has pointed out that in Brussels in particular, the ‘error’ labelling average is 31.8% (95% in the case of bluefin tuna). Oceana had already reported in 2013 that 33% of the information on the origin labelling of fish was misleading.

The warning signs are multiplying. A study by the University of Dublin (2013) indicates that 28% of cod products marketed in Ireland and the United Kingdom are more expensive than the species indicated on the label.

The University of Oviedo (Spain) and Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (Greece, 2011) demonstrated that the labelling of almost 40% of hake sold in both countries contain errors of origin. In addition, the CSIC (Spanish National Research Council) has reported labelling fraud between 25% (frozen tuna/fresh) and 6.5% (dried and salted cod).

These are not isolated practices — they almost always involve cheaper fish rather than the more expensive ones and in percentage terms, they are increasing every year.

What measures have been taken or are planned to ensure a systematic and coordinated control of fish labelling in the interests of consumer protection in the EU?


The Commission would refer the Honourable Members to its answer to Written Question E-014492/2015.

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