The MarCODE Project has as its main objective the development of a multidisciplinary tool to enhance the traceability and ecological labelling of marine species of commercial interest. This tool aims to enable all those involved in the marine organisms commercialization chain to identify the species and the catch/production area of origin of the product, contributing to its ecological and economic valorization and stimulating the development of certification programs.
Besides this main objective, this proposal presents the following specific objectives:
● Implementation of genetic markers for the confirmation of collected species, counteracting the food fraud that has been observed in terms of species identification;
● Identification of the tissues to be analysed that allow better classification efficiency according to the origin of the product;
● Evaluation of different elementary, isotopic, biochemical and microbial consortia as effective markers of origin or place of capture of marine products;
● Compile and identify species and best practices for capture or production of fish products in order to enable certification of origin and ecological labelling;
● Test different process-based automatic classification methodologies of artificial intelligence in order to automate the process of traceability and improve classification and labelling tools;
● Create nutritional charts of each population of origin as a means of promotion of products with high nutritional value;
● Produce an online consultation tool accessible to the public and also to elements of the marketing chain linked to fisheries and aquaculture, enabling consultation of all data relating to a given product;
● Produce supporting information to be used by the competent authorities in their advisory measures, based on the ecological value and stock data of the populations, together with nutritional, elementary and biochemical data in order to make the whole process of capture and production more sustainable from an ecological and economic point of view.
Thus, the MarCODE project will develop and validate a set of tools that aim to identify and make available to the consumer information concerning the species, place of origin, method of capture or production, product sustainability and other associated information, such as nutritional value, management and conservation status. The final aim is to contribute to the valorisation of fishery and aquaculture products in the marketing chain, to the protection of the consumer, to the fight against fraudulent practices and to the promotion of sustainable choices.