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Roy's First Post

Author: Roy Saravia

Published: 01/04/2020

Did you know which is the fastest fish in the ocean? The fastest fish of all is the sailfish, which can reach speeds of over 65 miles (102 km) an hour. The sailfish is part of a group of predatory fish called billfish, known for their prominent bills. The fishing federation of Costa Rica (FECOP) points out, that several of these rapid species of billfish are in danger of extinction thanks to commercial and artisanal overfishing.
One of the main problems that are leading to the decline of populations of billfish in Costa Rica is the misidentification of products that are commercialized. Laws that protect the most endangered species of billfish have been stated, nevertheless they are not respected because it is difficult to identify between species that are legally protected and species that are not. The BIOMOL laboratory is working on molecular tools that can identify between six different species of billfish in order for these laws to be more easily applied.
"Agarose gel use for the identification of Striped Marlin (Kajikia audax)".(assessed "near threatened by the IUCN). As you can see, we were able to identify 4 individuals of striped marlin. The samples were obtained in fish markets of San José, Costa Rica.
Another problem that affects not only billfish but fish in general is the lack of proper identification of fish in commercial facilities. An example of this is that Costa Rica it is common for local fish markets to sell shark meat as if it were fish. In the laboratory we have been testing these molecular tools in local markets of the metropolitan area and have found that two species of protected billfish are still commercialized commonly. Also, that many of the fish meat has been identified by the sellers as if it were another species.
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