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Jul 10, 2018

How is the Blockchain Reducing Seafood Fraud?

Are you sure that the expensive “Wild-caught Atlantic Salmon” you had for dinner last night was in fact the gourmet fish you thought it was? Or was it just a cheaper farm-grown salmon? Or was it salmon at all?

Moreover, are you sure the tasty white tuna sushi your local sushi bar serves is actually made from tuna and not from escolar, also known as oilfish? What’s the big deal, you might ask. Well, escolar is quite notorious for its delicious, cheap and oily meat. Meat that causes intense stomach problems, in other words, nasty uncontrollable diarrhea.

How common is fraud in general in the seafood industry and what is being done to stop this? According to the research, one in every three seafood products people buy don’t actually contain what the label says but fortunately there are organizations and companies that have stood up to the cause and set out to eliminate fraud and crime from the seafood industry. Creating transparency and trust around the whole field.

How can blockchain technology help to solve this problem?

While many people understand blockchain only in the context of cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, there are many other use cases for this technology. One of the most promising solutions for reducing seafood fraud that is blockchain technology.

Two things that make blockchain unique are its immutability and transparency. Everything that is stored on the blockchain is there permanently - no one can alter or delete the information that is stored -  and everyone in the network has the ability to see this data.

Some companies are already using blockchain technology to track their supply chain - for example ‘Tuna on the Blockchain’. Every step in the supply chain is tracked. When a consumer purchases the fish off the self of a supermarket, or when a restaurant receives an order of fish, they can check the journey of that exact fish online using a tracking ID or a QR code - and since the information is on the blockchain, no one can change it afterwards.

These companies are developing potentially revolutionizing solutions that could bring transparency to the whole industry, and many of them utilizing blockchain technology. When you'll see a QR code on a can of tuna or on a rice wafer in the near future, know that it will likely tell you where the fish is from and what places it went through before reaching you.

Blockchain could definitely improve the seafood industry as well as every other industry. It opens up many new opportunities and ways to improve our already existing processes. It definitely holds a place in our technological future and understanding blockchain will be important.


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