The National Fisheries and Aquaculture Service (Sernapesca) and the Artisanal Fisheries Development Fund, together with the Chilean company Shellcatch, have launched a program that will allow to know, by means of a QR code, the date and place of capture of fisheries resources, as well as the fisherman and boat that caught them, in nine artisanal coves of Chile.
The activity took place this Tuesday in the Caleta de Pescadores de Quintay, near Valparaíso, within the framework of activities to promote consumption and combat illegal fishing prior to Easter, when the greatest demand of seafood is registered in the country.
Artisanal fisherman with VirtualOBserver device installed in his boat
The Commercial Traceability Pilot Program seeks to contribute in three key areas: allow better control of the fishing activities thanks to technological integration; guarantee the legality of the product; and, finally, based on the same technology, provide citizens with direct access to a legal and controlled product, from which they can know the complete journey from the moment they are captured until it reaches their hands (traceability).
The first stage is focused on providing cameras on board vessels and at landing points. In addition to training in good practices for the management of resources and to use the mobile application that will register fishing operations online, allowing traceability from the capture of resources to the final consumer.
Video YouTube: Commercial Fishing Traceability Program (Spanish)
In a second phase, all this information will be contained in a label that the consumer can visualize through a QR code, allowing to know the date and place of capture, the route that the product travels until reaching the final consumer, and even the name of the fisherman and the boat that was in charge of the fishing operation.
For the director of SERNAPECA and president of the Council for the Promotion of Artisanal Fisheries, Alicia Gallardo, the initiative allows consumers to have access to know where the prodcuts were fished, in what place, what fisherman, and so on. This will help consumers to value legal fishing and unmask those illegal fishing mafias that profit from legal fishermen.
"In addition, fishermen can access this inviolable and technological system. What better than having a bar code and knowing where it was fished, in what cove; that is sustainability, that fishermen can access this tool and we can comply and promote it legal fishing," said the authority.
For his part, Alfredo Sfeir, general manager of Shellcatch, stressed that "this is a very good alternative for artisanal fishermen to generate, in some cases, better selling prices, increase the number of customers and in turn securing that the product that reaches the consumer's table is fresh," emphasizing that "it will serve to mitigate the problems generated by illegal fishing."