WWF and partners use blockchain for tuna traceability

By Joseph James Whitworth contact

- Last updated on GMT

WWF: This is about helping people understand where their food comes from. Picture: iStock
WWF: This is about helping people understand where their food comes from. Picture: iStock
WWF has introduced blockchain technology to the Pacific Islands’ tuna industry to tackle illegal fishing and human rights abuse.

Tracking fish from vessel to the supermarket, the Blockchain Supply Chain Traceability Project is using digital technology in the fresh and frozen tuna sectors of the Western and Central Pacific region.

WWF-New Zealand, WWF-Australia and WWF-Fiji have teamed up with ConsenSys, information and communications technology (ICT) firm TraSeable and tuna fishing and processing company Sea Quest Fiji for the project in Fiji.

They are looking for a retail partner to complete the ‘tuna traceability story’.

Livia Esterhazy, WWF-New Zealand CEO, said the project has potential to improve people’s lives and protect the environment.

“For years, there have been disturbing reports that consumers may have unknowingly bought tuna from illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and, even worse, from operators who use slave labour," ​she said.

“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. Consumers will have certainty that they’re buying legally-caught, sustainable tuna with no slave labour or oppressive conditions involved.”

Buying and selling of Pacific tuna is currently tracked by paper records or not at all. Now fishermen can register their catch on the blockchain through radio-frequency identification (RFID) e-tagging and scanning fish.

Ken Katafono, CEO of TraSeable, said: “I am very excited to be part of this project, which I’m sure will lead the transformation of seafood supply chain traceability in the Pacific and potentially around the world.”

ConsenSys is testing the Viant blockchain traceability tool with WWF and Sea Quest.

Brett Haywood, CEO of Sea Quest Fiji, said: “Sustainable fishing ensures the longevity of the fishing business, and Sea Quest wants to see sustainable fishing in the region.”

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