UN paves way for sustainability in the seafood industry using the Blockchain


Blockchain has become one of the most discussed technologies in relation to supply chain management, given its ability to provide transparency and traceability within a number of supply chains.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations recently published a report entitled „Blockchain Application in Seafood Value Chains“ to raise government and international awareness of the role of the Blockchain in the seafood industry.

The key points highlighted throughout the document point to regulatory concerns arising with global trade, cases of appropriate use of the Blockchain and challenges – such as scalability and interoperability – that need to be addressed for widespread adoption of the Blockchain.

FAO publishes report for the implementation of traceability of fish and fishery products with the Blockchain

Why the Blockchain for the fish shop?
According to the report, fish and fish products are some of the most traded foods in the world. In 2016, about 35% of the world’s fish production was traded internationally. Since then, international trade in fish and fishery products has increased, with developing countries like Indonesia, where

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is commonly traded, playing a key role.

However, as the market for seafood continues to grow, several companies have begun to publicly comply with sustainable seafood supply policies. While food safety has always been a primary concern, ensuring sustainability has now become an important objective that, if met, would allow companies to promote the benefits of their products, such as compliance with social and fair trade standards.

Unfortunately, it has become a challenge for seafood suppliers to effectively trace the origin of their products while ensuring sustainability. While most seafood companies rely on outdated, paper-based registration systems, the UN report notes that the Blockchain could be used as an effective tracking solution for the seafood supply chain.

According to the document, an ideal tracking solution would include the automatic identification and registration of a product when it enters a supply chain, all supply chain transactions and all transactions related to products leaving the supply chain.

Products must also be recorded in real time with all transactions recorded and verified. In addition, an electronic platform could also force operators to comply with regulations, eliminating the need for national law enforcement to participate in global trade.

The report notes that a centralized online platform used in this case would only create challenges, as it could not accommodate all supply chain scenarios while tracking every transaction. Centralized platforms are also often costly to operate and can create ownership confusion.