Mislabelled fish: MEPs to call for strong traceability system 

A strong traceability system for all fishery products sold in EU restaurants and shops would help to prevent cases of mislabelling, say MEPs in a resolution to be debated on Monday and voted on Tuesday. A sound EU fish labelling policy would in turn boost consumer confidence and the economic development of the EU fishing industry, they add.

MEPs voice concern about various studies showing significant levels of mislabelling of fish products sold on the EU market and call on member states to strengthen national checks.

They also call on the EU Commission to remedy the confusion caused by the current EU labelling requirements, based on UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) areas and sub-areas, whereby fish caught off Galicia and in the Gulf of Cádiz are labelled as being from “Portuguese Waters” those caught off Wales as from the “Irish Sea” and those caught off Brittany as from the “Bay of Biscay”.



The Commission's 2015 EU control plan assessing the prevalence on the market of mislabelled white fish with regard to its declared species found that the declared species was confirmed in 94% of the samples taken. However, for certain species, non-compliance levels were very high. The rate of 6% is considered relatively low compared to other more limited studies in member states.


A recent NGO study revealed alarming cases of mislabelling of fish served in restaurants in Brussels. The study was based on DNA testing and the results showed that about one third of the tested fish are mislabelled. (oral question)

Procedure: Oral question to the Commission with a resolution


Debate: Monday, 9 May

Vote: Tuesday, 10 May