Our Planet
The silvery wash of the moon illuminates the invaders in our garden
Marine conservation is about proper management not numbers
Lion killed California intern with one swipe of its paw, coroner reveals
Deer cull would threaten thousands of jobs, say furious gamekeepers
We must kill Bambi: why culling deer is a no-brainer
Five shark species win protection against finning trade
Pangolins under threat as black market trade grows
Should we learn to love eating insects?
Rare Sumatran tiger kills farmer in Indonesia
Where screeching, scarlet macaws enjoy raucous celebrity status
Summer's early birds risk their return from wintering grounds
Mexican monarch butterfly numbers at record low, scientists say
Military three-step as birds drill for food through the late winter snow
Beachcombers to hunt out 'mermaid's purses' to help protect sharks
French troops return to the heart of D-day operations
A landscape bathed in cold brilliance
Birdwatch: Pied-billed grebe
National Wildlife Crime Unit left in funding doubt
86 elephants killed in Chad poaching massacre
Polar bear hunting and migration 'hit by warming climate'
Cloning extinct animals: to hell with frogs!
Spring is in the air and Zoroastrians and hares and pagans. And me
When the icy wind drops, the first hint of warmth can be felt in the sun
Don't let good zoos go extinct
  Cod and chips could be a load of pollock
About one in seven fish sold in shops, restaurants or fish and chip shops may not be what they say on packs or menus, according to trading standards checks.

Figures supplied by councils to the UK Food Standards Agency indicate that 41 of 303 checks on packaged frozen or chilled fish and in catering businesses in 2011 did not meet labelling requirements.

In 27 cases the fish described as cod was another species, such as haddock, whiting or pollock. Other types of fish were also incorrectly described among other breaches of labelling rules. said the agency.

The UK fishing industry has demanded tougher action to ensure consumers are not misled over the type of fish they are eating amid mounting evidence of mislabelling of fish internationally and as Europe reels from the horsemeat in beef scandal.

The FSA has previously reported checks by trading standards officials in 2008 that suggested one in 10 fish in 380 samples from catering establishmentswere not those described on menus.

Checks in 1994, before the agency existed, suggested 8% of fish in catering outlets were mislabelled.

Information about the latest figures came after Stefano Mariani, of Salford University, told the BBC: "Consumers should be able to go to a shop and know they are eating what they paid for."

Mariani previously led a study at University College, Dublin, which found that 7% of products labelled as cod in the UK and 28% in Ireland contained substitutes, such as pollock and whiting. It involved DNA testing on 226 products in 131 supermarkets, fishmongers and takeaways in Ireland and 95 in the UK.

He is now involved in a European study concentrating on the UK, Ireland, Portugal, Spain, France, and Germany but also looking at the Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden, Norway, Iceland and Estonia.

"A lot of the fish used are perfectly edible and from possibly more sustainable stocks", Mariani said. "The problem is they should be sold for what they are."

Oceana, an organisation which campaigns to protect seas and oceans, has also recently found widespread mislabelling of fish in the US.

Paul Williams, chief executive of Seafish, the national industry body, said deliberately mislabelling seafood was "unacceptable and damaging to an industry which prides itself on the quality and sustainability of its products". Anyone found to be deliberately misleading consumers was dealt with immediately by trading standards authorities.

Barrie Deas, who heads the National Federation of Fishing Organisations was concerned that "cheap, low quality imports of species like tilapia, pangasius and Alaskan pollock are being substituted for fish caught in our waters and mislabelled as more familiar species."

Improved DNA testing should make checks easier and help prevent fishermen and consumers being cheated, said Deas. "We have the means, just get on and do it."

Those found guilty of breaking labelling rules face fines of up to £20,000 or up to two years imprisonment. Those convicted of fraud can be jailed for up to 10 years or face unlimited fines. The Trading Standards Institute says local authority budgets are tight and it has no national figures on labelling infringements.
Hundreds of wild boars face cull in Forest of Dean
Grand National protesters accuse Channel 4 of exploiting deaths of horses
Kenya's Maasai keep lions at bay with solar power and ingenuity
Week-old baby died after being bitten by jack russell, inquest hears
Avian flu: Chinese pigeon fanciers vaccinate tens of thousands of birds
Art Deco among the ducks
The silent socialisers of the insect world
Firefighters tackle blaze at Scottish zoo
Scottish zoo fire leaves animals and reptiles dead
Upon the Yare three grebe pairs were all in display
Chinese vessel on Philippine coral reef caught with illegal pangolin meat
Stricken seabirds wash up along south coast of England
Circuses to be banned from using wild animals
Demand for lion bones offers South African breeders a lucrative return
Edinburgh zoo pandas 'ready to mate'
Humans that harm animals should be held accountable
Today the brimstones are out, careering up and down the rides
English farmers to be reimbursed for sheep killed in snowstorms
Rhino heads seized in gang raid on Ireland's national museum
On this bright morning, the redwing are looking particularly smart
The Chinese sanctuary with pandas at play
Australia's koala crisis
Edinburgh's female panda artificially inseminated
Scientists attack government climbdown on marine protection
French fisherman survives crocodile attack in Australia
Oxford college under attack over plans to display live shark at ball
Wood anemones bewitched by the wind
Shark's off at Oxford black-tie ball
Appetite for caviar could see paddlefish suffer sturgeon's fate
One day last week something other than water came out of the fountain
China loves pork too much
New to Nature No 100: Eleodes wheeleri
Bollywood actors charged in poaching case
Salisbury travel tips: great bustard birdwatching on the plain
Farewell to Nick Boing, Wales's very own superstar sheep
South African minister backs legalisation of rhino horn trade
Cold spring kills thousands of newborn lambs
Rolling snowballs the size of tumbledriers down the hill
Ranger corruption 'impeding global fight against poaching'
The grey seal's bewhiskered face bore an expression of pure contentment
A new, ethical way to buy fish from the fisherman
Dangerous dogs policy in the wake of the terrible death of Jade Anderson
Red squirrels are intensely curious creatures, and extraordinarily pretty
Freezing weather brings fresh perils for British wildlife
Paparazzi reception for an elusive star of the natural world the otter
Eating fish: it's complicated
Do you think the Grand National is cruel?
Cod and chips could be a load of pollock
Farmers call for help over mounting sheep deaths
Chinese fishing fleet in African waters reports 9% of catch to UN
South African game reserve poisons rhino's horns to prevent poaching
Cats leave their mark on centuries of books
Visit Statistics