Use of Fatty Acid Profiles to Distinguish Cultured from Wild Fish: A Possible Law Enforcement Tool

Fatty acid profiles of cultured hybrid striped bass and red drum were compared to their diets. Correlation coefficients were 0.94 and 0.98, respectively. Of the fatty acids examined, linoleic acid (18:2n6) levels were particularly high in cultured fish due to various dietary sources and extremely low in wild fishes. Such differences may be suitable to distinguish cultured from wild fish and may become another biochemical tool for use by law enforcement agencies involved in the protection and conservation of natural resources.

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