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Use of blockchain technologies in the seafood industry can reduce fish loss and IUU fishing

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Thursday, July 09, 2020, 01:00 (GMT + 9)

Applying the blockchain approach to the marine ingredients industry is expected to create a level playing field across the sector, preventing IUU materials from entering the supply chain and increasing the value of raw materials such as by-products. Release 2.0 of the MarinTrust Chain of Custody, to be released in late July 2020, will include a specific clause focused on the registration of key data elements that will initiate implementation in an innovative way to demonstrate full traceability from origin.

Reuse of marine resources

Global food loss and waste is the focus of Goal 12 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which aims to halve waste by 2030. However, FAO's SOFIA 2020 report highlights that approximately 35 percent of the world harvest is lost or wasted each year in fisheries and aquaculture. The use of fish by-products 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, by-products make up 30% of final products, and there is room for improvement. By-products 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 there are responsible sourcing standards. Currently, more than 50% of all marine ingredients produced worldwide are certified by MarinTrust.

Blockchain technologies: a bridge between the production of marine ingredients and the food industry

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

It must be 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.

You must guarantee transparency, allowing access to each transaction and its respective value

Guarantees 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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