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Blockchain technologies to reduce fish loss and IUU fishing

A new version of the MarinTrust Chain of Custody will be released in late July 2020 and will include a specific clause focused on registering key data elements that initiates deployment in an innovative way to demonstrate full traceability from the source.

Blockchain technologies to reduce fish loss and IUU fishing

July 8, 2020

Applying the blockchain approach to the marine ingredients industry is expected to prevent IUU materials from entering the supply chain and the value of raw materials as byproducts. A new version (2.0) of the MarinTrust Chain of Custody will be released in late July 2020 and will include a specific clause focused on registering key data elements that initiates deployment in an innovative way to demonstrate full traceability from the source.

Global food loss and waste are the focus of the 12 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which aim to cut in half waste by 2030. However, FAO's SOFIA 2020 report highlights that approximately 35% of the world harvest is lost or wasted each year in fisheries and aquaculture. The use of fish byproducts that are used in the fishing industry is growing: they represent up to 70% of processed fish. They are the result of processing fish for human consumption and are generally made up of heads, viscera, skin, bones and scales. In the fishmeal and fish oil industry, specific byproducts account for 30% of final products, and there is room for improvement. Byproducts are also used in other sectors, such as pharmaceuticals (omega-3 oils), pet food, cosmetics, and many others.

“The complexity of the value chain of marine ingredients provokes a growing interest around the raw materials used and a need for transparency regarding their origin. This is why responsible sourcing stocks exist. Currently, more than 50% of all marine ingredients produced worldwide are certified by MarinTrust,” the organization said.

Taking a journey towards implementing responsible blockchain networks now seems highly relevant. Blockchain technology operates according to three guiding principles:

  • Being open and democratic, through an accessible database that does not use intermediaries, which allows processing companies to access key data elements (KDE), such as the fishing area, the names of the species captured, the processing location, sustainability credentials or certifications, production method, etc.
  • Guaranteeing transparency, allowing access to each transaction and its respective value
  • Guaranteeing the irreversibility of the records.

This approach should allow MarinTrust to help improve the connection and dialogue between the fishmeal and fish oil industry and the industry that offers products for human consumption, two industries that are in the same space and use the same resources. MarinTrust wants to make data collection and processing easier, taking full advantage of its position within the value chain to help all stakeholders demonstrate traceability. The viability of the model will increase as the availability of the data increases.

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