Green Pulse Podcast - In hot soup: The fishy business about the fish you eat

(Clockwise from left) Part of a silky shark labelled as dried shark fin, devil fish labelled as dried gill rakers, bottlenose wedgefish labelled as shovelnose ray meat.
(Clockwise from left) Part of a silky shark labelled as dried shark fin, devil fish labelled as dried gill rakers, bottlenose wedgefish labelled as shovelnose ray meat.PHOTOS: CHOO ET AL (2021)

Green Pulse Ep 44: In hot soup: The fishy business about the fish you eat

15:50 mins

Synopsis: The Straits Times analyses the beat of the changing environment, from biodiversity conservation to climate change.

Some people make it a point to avoid eating shark fin for environmental and ethical reasons. But it turns out that food products containing these threatened species may be more ubiquitous than expected. A new study by researchers from the National University of Singapore and Wildlife Conservation Society has found that many shark and ray products in Singapore are mislabelled.

So items labelled “dried fish” or “salted fish” may actually be from shark and ray species facing extinction. In this episode, Green Pulse podcasters Audrey Tan and David Fogarty host researchers Christina Choy and Choo Min Yi to find out how they uncovered this fishy business through a process called DNA barcoding.

They discuss the following points:

1. The truth about “dried fish” or “salted fish” products in Singapore (1:53)

2. Will better labelling help curb consumption of threatened shark and ray products (5:40)

3. Science of DNA barcoding (10:15)

4. What Singapore is doing to prevent mislabelling of threatened species (13:49)

Produced by: Audrey Tan (audreyt@sph.com.sg), David Fogarty (dfogarty@sph.com.sg), Adam Azlee

Edited by: Adam Azlee

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