Student uses a pipet to extract DNA with other students looking on.

Fish Market Survey

What's on your plate?

Senior biology students use a DNA barcoding kit to test local grocery store fish samples, and discover if the fish they bought is mislabeled and part of food fraud!


We are not running the project in the winter of 2021. Please come back later to learn if we will run the project in the fall of 2021.

A selection of fish on display at a supermarket

Project Overview

Through this data collection project, students will have the opportunity to contribute real data to a project about food fraud. Food is an extremely important part of our lives, and more and more, people are concerned about where their food comes from and what goes into it. Even if you carefully read the package, you may not be getting what you think. DNA barcoding is one tool that scientists use to confirm or refute the identity of food such as beef, fish and other seafood.

Participants in the Fish Market Survey will collect samples of fish from their local grocery stores and markets using the DNA collection kit. After they have collected their samples, they return their kit to the Centre for Biodiversity Genomics at the University of Guelph to be DNA barcoded. The barcodes will then go into BOLD Data System, a publicly accessible database of DNA barcodes accessible by researchers worldwide, and the students will know if the fish they purchased was labeled correctly!