Tracing Seafood Products to Their Source

Protecting seafood quality & ensuring responsible fishing practices

LEX-NG Fund grantee MarViva has implemented a paper-based traceability program with several receiving centers that source fish from artisanal fisher associations. This program tracks the responsibility-caught marine products they process including information about the fisher, species, capture date, gear type used, location where the fish was caught, and temperatures during handling and storage. With this traceability program, local associations can demonstrate environmental responsibility and product quality.

Describing the fish product lots through the traceability system shows the beneficiaries’ commitment towards responsible fishing. It requires daily, time-intensive dedication to record the necessary data, and to manually process the information for it to be useful for the fishers and for the buyers that commercialize the fish. As an improvement opportunity, MarViva is testing an online traceability program where electricity and internet service are available. This system is more reliable and challenges the receiving centers to strengthen their computer skills as well.

With product quality guaranteed, artisanal fisher groups are better positioned to negotiate higher prices for their fish when they sell them to corporate buyers. Being able to point to exactly where each fish was caught, the fishing gear used, and who caught it raises awareness of local, sustainable fishing. It also increases confidence in the quality of the product and provides an added value for the end consumer. The more responsibly-caught fish are introduced to consumers, the higher the demand for such seafood products. 

The Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic (LEX-NG) Fund aims to protect the last wild places in the ocean while facilitating conservation, research, education, and community development programs in the places we explore. If you would like to learn more about projects supported by the LEX-NG Fund worldwide, please contact the Fund by email. To support our work by making a contribution to the LEX-NG Fund, click here.

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