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Tech tools are good, but legislation is needed to battle fish fraud

At Boston Fish Pier, Nahun Villanueva weighed and packaged cod from the Atlantic Prince fishing boat.

Dina Rudick/Globe Staff

At Boston Fish Pier, Nahun Villanueva weighed and packaged cod from the Atlantic Prince fishing boat.

While it is encouraging to see companies like Red’s Best and Open Ocean Trading pioneer technologies that can trace our fish from boat to plate, a systemic approach is needed to guard against the global threat of seafood species fraud (“Fish get pedigrees, the high-tech way,” Business, March 10).

Following The Boston Globe’s 2011 report on the widespread mislabeling of fish throughout New England, your reporters returned to many of the same restaurants and retail outlets the next year, only to find that the problem persists. The Globe reports led to the introduction of state legislation that would make Massachusetts the first state in the country to ban escolar, and would require the adoption of technology to ensure traceability. Senator Ed Markey and Barney Frank, then a representative, introduced similar legislation at the federal level. Both bills are pending.

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We commend entrepreneurs for innovating solutions to protect consumers against seafood fraud, but the integrity of the industry depends on state and federal legislation.

Jean Terranova

Program director

Traceability Project

Adam Soliman

Director

The Fisheries Law Centre

Vancouver

In addition to her work with the Fisheries Law Centre, Terranova is a food and health policy lawyer based in Melrose.

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