DNA barcoding ray wings in Greece detects protected species

Published on
01. September 2021

Flying under the radar: DNA barcoding ray wings in Greece detects protected species and umbrella labelling terms

Zoe Giagkazoglou, Andrew M. Griffiths, Anastasia Imsiridou, Archontia Chatzispyrou, Konstantinos Touloumis, Jake L. Hebb, Dimitra Mylona, Anna K. Malamidou, Evangelia D. Apostolidi, Ioannis Ε. Batjakas, Chrysoula Gubili


Mislabeling of seafood products and marketing of protected species remains a worldwide issue despite the labeling regulations set at a local, European and International level. DNA barcoding has proven to be the most popular and accurate method of detection of fraudulent seafood products. This study investigated the batoid meat market of Greece, the mislabeling rates and the protected species occurrence. A total of 114 ray products were collected from fishmongers, open markets, supermarkets, and restaurants across eight Greek cities. The cytochrome oxidase subunit I (COI) gene was used to analyze samples, and the sequences were compared against genetic databases for species identification. At least 13 species across nine genera were identified. The results did not indicate significant differences in species utilization among cities, retailers, and labels. However, in the pairwise comparisons, Athens differed from all other locations and a similar trend was followed by the label “salachi”. Moderate mislabeling levels were recorded (13.5%), while 3.5% of the identified samples belonged to species with prohibitions on landings, confirming an ongoing market for protected species. Overall, 19.8% of the samples originated from species that are locally listed in threatened categories of the IUCN Red List of species.

Food Control,2021,108517,ISSN 0956-7135, DOI: 10.1016/j.foodcont.2021.108517


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