Presentation Date: 2017-01-25

Presenter: Hayley Nuetzel

Presentation Topic: The bait and switch: A discussion of seafood fraud in Los Angeles, CA and Santa Cruz, CA

Presentation Synopsis: With the continual development of genetic technologies, the questions we can ask using this data rapidly expands. One issue that has been greatly informed by these technologies is that of seafood fraud. Multiple studies have used a technique known as DNA barcoding to assess the authenticity of labelling at seafood vendors across the United States. In this talk, I will briefly explain the DNA barcoding technique, and communicate findings from studies I helped conduct in Los Angeles and Santa Cruz, CA. Nationwide, mislabeling rates are shockingly high and illustrate larger conservation and management issues. I will highlight species particularly vulnerable to mislabeling, and discuss actions we can take as seafood consumers.

Presenter Biography: Hayley is a second-year PhD student within a cooperative research unit of UCSC and NOAA scientists from the Southwest Fisheries Science Center here in Santa Cruz, CA. She is particularly interested in using genomic data to understand the process of speciation within the marine environment. After graduating with a B.S. in Marine Biology from UCLA, she spent two years working in science education. During this time, she became involved in a seafood fraud study based in Los Angeles, CA that radically changed her view of the seafood industry and her impact as a seafood consumer. She has since engaged anyone willing to listen in a discussion of this issue, and coordinated a pilot study with Harbor High School students last year that will be expanded this year. She strongly believes that by spreading awareness of this issue, we can use this knowledge to collectively promote sustainability within the seafood industry.

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References

The Study: Using DNA barcoding to track seafood mislabeling in Los Angeles restaurants (Willette DASimmonds SECheng SHEsteves SKane TLNuetzel HPilaud NRachmawati RBarber PH.)

Aquaculture: How To Farm A Better Fish – National Geographic

Presentation Video