Based on the data from 200 studies, the ocean conservation advocacy group found that as much as 20% of seafood is not labelled correctly in the U.S. This mislabeling to some fraudulent individuals has huge repercussions on the economy, global health, and conservation efforts, but the blockchain technology can solve this problem.
As detailed in the report, it is not known where in the supply chain the fraud takes place, but it ranges from restaurants serving regular farmed salmon while saying it is wild, to chefs importing endangered whale meat and saying it is tuna.
The report mentioned that the traceability is the main concern. With a blockchain, instances of mislabeling would decrease since the recording of the information would be more detailed and transparent.
Blockchain in Seafood Supply Chain
The implementation of the blockchain technology is happening in many different industries’ supply chains. Since data recording on the blockchain is secure and transparent, many seafood companies want to apply the technology to the seafood supply chain.
In 2017, Intel showed how a platform creating and managing blockchain, called Hyperledger Sawtooth, could facilitate seafood supply chain traceability.
The study tracked and recorded information about a fish, such as its location, temperature, and other characteristics. The tracking was made from the ocean to a restaurant with the use of IoT connected sensors.
In January 2018, the World Wildlife Foundation (WWF) explained their Blockchain Supply Chain Traceability Project. There are many similarities between WWF’s and Intel’s project since they both want eliminate illegal fishing of endangered species.
“Through blockchain technology, soon a simple scan of tuna packaging using a smartphone app will tell the story of a tuna fish — where and when the fish was caught, by which vessel and fishing method,” WWF-New Zealand CEO Livia Esterhazy said in a press release. “Consumers will have certainty that they’re buying legally-caught, sustainable tuna with no slave labor or oppressive conditions involved.”
Everyone along the seafood supply chain wants a new recording system, but most of the people involved in the process would like to implement a new one with the blockchain technology for it to be more trustworthy and fraud-proof.
« Fishcoin is a utility token that creates an incentive for data capture in various forms, beginning with key data elements captured and communicated by fishermen and fish farmers for the purpose of traceability, » the company’s white paper explained.
The way that the whole process works is that when fishermen catch seafood, they have to send the information of what it consists to restaurants and grocery stores. This will create a smart contract, which transfers a certain amount of “Fishcoins” into the fishermen’s cryptocurrency wallets. All the information would then be recorded on the blockchain where it would be transparent and immutable. The “Fishcoins” give an incentive to the fishermen to participate to the platform.