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CODTRACE
Establishing traceability for cod (Gadus morhua): Determining location of spawning and harvest

Cod is one of the European Union's most economically important fish species but as they cannot be traced to their origin, problems arise with stock management and consumer safety. Methods will be developed that establish traceability for individuals, placing unknown cod in their location of spawning and harvest. The objectives include differentiating between cod spawned in different basins, identifying their harvest location (including differentiating wild-caught and farm-reared individuals), and placing the results in a context of EU Common Fisheries Policy and law. Objectives will be achieved using multiple tracing techniques (genetics, chemistry and molecular/physical markers) followed by multivariate statistics. The technique will provide a high statistical probability of correctly classifying individual cod to their location of spawning and harvest.

Objectives
The objectives of the project are:
1) to optimise analytical techniques for discriminating amongst cod stocks in the major marine basins of the EU
2) to optimise analytical and statistical techniques to determine the specific basin where an individual fish was harvested
3) to determine if the Codtrace technique may be able to provide legally indisputable evidence for the location of harvest of unknown cod.

Progress to Date
1) The first progress report has been submitted and accepted by the Fisheries DG. Cod sampling and distribution has been successfully completed, along with additional (unplanned) sites from Norwegian cod stocks.
2) Analytical techniques have been optimised to differentiate the Spring 2002 cod samples.
3) Statistical analyses are being developed to maximise differentiation of the harvest location of the fish using combinations of the data types available.
4) Transplantation experiments have been initiated.

Classified in CAP AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT, FISHERIES AND AQUACULTURE

Scientist responsible for the project

Dr. BRET DANILOWICZ
Department of Zoology, University College Dublin
Dublin 4 Belfield
Ireland - IE

Phone: +353 1716 2347
Fax: +353 1716 1152
E-mail: bret.danilowicz@ucd.ie

References

Project ID QLRT-2000-01697
Organisation University College Dublin
Area 5.1.1
Start date 01 January 2002
Duration (months) 36
Total cost 2 436 517 €
Total EC contribution   2 104 507 €
Status Ongoing
Web address of the project   http://www.codtrace.ie

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