Everyone likes to feel good about the food we eat. That’s why it makes sense to shop locally, select whole grains and other non-processed foods, and always know where your meat and fish actually come from.
But as anyone who has ever tried to shop for sustainable fish knows, it isn’t always an easy task. That’s why this new Kickstarter campaign is genius.
Dock to Dish is a North American organization that has always tried to encourage sustainable seafood sourcing by giving its members access to seafood caught locally, and by encouraging a more transparent fishing process between fishermen and community members. And now it’s taking the good fight one step further with a Kickstarter campaign that’ll help you figure out exactly where your fish comes from.
Basically, the campaign promises to produce special barcodes that fisherman will put on the bags of the fish they catch. The person receiving that fish can then scan the barcode and share the history of the bag with the public. So we could easily look up where the fish comes from, who caught it and when.
“People will be able to trace the fish back to a specific fishermen and vessel using a new electronic database called FishTrax, then they will be able to track their fish in real time from the moment it lands at the dock and as it is transported over land, until it reaches the restaurant using a program designed by Pelagic Data Systems,” a spokesperson for the company tells us. “All of this information will be available on a digital dashboard on the homepage of our website.”
If all goes according to plan, the public can dig a little deeper into the history of the actual fishermen, too. The company explains that FishTrax will allow people to see what types of fish these workers typically catch, what kind of gear they use and what their go-to recipes for the fish are.
The whole idea is to eliminate seafood fraud (where restaurants claim their fish is sustainably caught when it actually isn’t) by tracking the entire process from beginning to end.
“This system makes it impossible to swap out and mislabel seafood, which will be a revolutionary turning point for the seafood industry and serve as anti-venom for the poisoned supply chains in North America,” the spokesperson adds.
So far the campaign has raised about half of its $75,000 goal, which is what’s required for the program to come into effect in parts of Canada, the U.S. and Costa Rica.
“We are on a mission to fix the broken seafood supply system with our unique cooperative programs and the latest advances in technology,” the company writes. “We are working closely with our friends at NAMA and LocalCatch.org on this project, and one important outcome that Dock to Dish is committed to… is creating an open source technological blueprint for local seafood traceability. Upon completion, the blueprint will be made available to any small and medium scale community-based fishermen who wishes to replicate the new tracking system and use it in the movement toward healthy fisheries and fishing communities.”
Now that’s a goal we can get behind.