To ensure fisheries sustainability and to meet the current demands of the global seafood marketing chain to combat fraud, an effective science-based traceability system must be able to identify species and the geographical origin, and to distinguish between wild-capture and farmed products.


Key reasons to attend this course

Be familiar with the regulatory requirements for combatting seafood fraud and current European initiatives that are tackling this issue.
Increase knowledge of the most relevant and innovative methods for the identification of species and the geographic origin, the method of production and other authentication issues.
Gain experience in the process of conducting Food Fraud Vulnerability Assessments and developing Food Fraud Mitigation Plans.
Improve skills in the use of in silico DNA sequencing analysis for species identification with public databases and rapid and on-site DNA methods for seafood authentication.
Network with professionals from other countries and share knowledge on traceability tools, emerging issues and future developments in the context of seafood fraud.


20 hours in-class training

15 hours of practical work and discussion

Leading international experts

Course in English, with interpretation into Spanish and French


  • 1. Global seafood trade
    • 1.1. Production - fisheries and aquaculture data
    • 1.2. Trade - imports/exports (species, utilisation, product forms)
    • 1.3. The importance of seafood consumption (diet, nutrition and health)
  • 2. Food fraud in the seafood value chain
    • 2.1. What is food fraud? Examples of fraud in the seafood chain: authenticity of species, geographic area of origin, method of production, quality (water addition, additives, etc.)
    • 2.2. Vulnerability of the seafood value chain to fraud
    • 2.3. Economic, public health and environmental impacts of seafood fraud (financial losses to industry, reputation damages, consumer confidence, food safety issues, IUU fisheries and fish stocks)
  • 3. Ensuring seafood authenticity
    • 3.1. Regulatory requirements of major seafood markets especially for traceability and labelling (EU, US, China, others)
    • 3.2. Industry codes of practice (IFS, BRC, GFSI, others)
    • 3.3. Codex Alimentarius standards and guidelines
    • 3.4. Initiatives underway at national and international level (EU Food Fraud Network, Reference Centres for authenticity and integrity, JRC Knowledge Centres, EUROPOL/INTERPOL Operation OPSON, others)
    • 3.5. Implementation of Food Fraud Vulnerability Assessment (FFVA) and Food Fraud Mitigation Plan (FFMP)
  • 4. Methods for ensuring seafood authenticity
    • 4.1. Methods for the identification of seafood species
      • 4.1.1. Methods based on protein analyses (MALDI-TOF, LC-MSn, others). Databases for proteins
      • 4.1.2. Methods based on DNA analyses
        • DNA markers, PCR techniques and isothermal amplification
        • DNA sequencing and databases
    • 4.2. Destructive methods for the identification of the geographic origin and method of production. Omics, SNPs and microbiota
    • 4.3. Non-destructive methods for the identification of the method of production (farmed vs wild fish) (NIR, NMR, others)
    • 4.4. Methods for other authentication issues (thawed, glazed, approved/unapproved additives, added water)
    • 4.5. Validation of analytical methods, reference material and general requirements for the competence of control laboratories
    • 4.6. Traceability and labelling to ensure seafood authenticity
      • 4.6.1. Traceability tools (KDE/CTE, GS1, Blockchain, FoodChain Lab, other IT tools)
      • 4.6.2. Smart labelling tools (barcodes, RFID, QR codes)
  • 5. SEA-TRACES case studies
    • 5.1. Bay of Biscay anchovies (SNP methodology)
    • 5.2. Flat oysters in France (microsatellites)
    • 5.3. Fish "pescadeRias" (Apps and smart labels)
    • 5.4. Discussion
  • 6. Open discussion: the future of the integrity of seafood value chains
  • 7. Practical work
    • 7.1. Group work
      • 7.1.1. Analysis of seafood labelling in different products and countries
      • 7.1.2. Exercise to conduct FFVA and develop a FFMP for specific products
    • 7.2. Computer-based tools
      • 7.2.1. DNA analysis methods: sequencing
        • From raw data to aligned sequence data
        • Sequence analysis: analysis of homology using Genebank and Fishbol databases; distance methods; FISHFIT platform
      • 7.2.2. FoodChain Lab: the application of an IT tool for seafood traceability
    • 7.3. Utilization of rapid and on-site methods: qPCR, isothermal amplification by dipsticks

Train at an outstanding international institution


If you wish to participate in the course, apply online at the following address:

The course is targeted to professionals within public institutions and the seafood industry, such as members of the competent authorities for official controls, seafood safety and quality managers, private labs, technical advisors and professionals from R&D institutions dealing with seafood control and management.

The course will be held online from 26 April to 6 May 2021, over nine 4-hour days, from 12:00h to 17:00h (Central European Time).
Application deadlines: 19 March 2021. The deadline may be extended if there are free places available.

Registration fees for the course amount to 400 euro. This sum covers tuition fees only.
Candidates from CIHEAM member countries (Albania, Algeria, Egypt, France, Greece, Italy, Lebanon, Malta, Morocco, Portugal, Spain, Tunisia and Turkey) may receive financial support covering registration fees. Applications from other FAO member countries may also be considered.
Candidates from other countries who require financial support should apply directly to other national or international institutions.

Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Zaragoza

Av. Montañana 1005, 50059 Zaragoza, Spain

+34 976716000

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