August 8, 2017 | Vancouver, BC – Imagine a salmon fleet in the offshore waters of the Pacific Ocean near the remote archipelago of Haida Gwaii, known as Canada’s Galapagos, catching fish that will change hands several times before landing on your dinner plate. What if you knew the story of that fish—the date, location, species, catch method and even the vessel’s skipper? Would you feel more at ease knowing it was handled with care and caught sustainably with a hook and line?
Imagine no longer. Albion Farms & Fisheries, one of Canada’s most trusted distributors for meat and seafood, is teaming up with two leading technology companies to pioneer a comprehensive state-of-the-art real-time tracking and traceability system for its salmon fleet in B.C.’s North Coast that can identify exactly who caught your fish, where, when and how in real time
By adopting real-time tracking and tracing of wild-caught salmon, Albion Farm & Fisheries wants to bring consumers closer to the source of their food, support sustainable harvesting practices, and play a leading role in the clean protein movement. Like a social network, the technology even lets chefs and seafood lovers send messages directly to their fishermen. Click link to see catch from Capt. Bob Pottle on the FV Laurel Anne: http://www.this.fish/catch/?code=T505597
“Albion Farms & Fisheries is taking a leadership role in creating a greater level of transparency within the supply chain”, said Guy Dean, Vice-President and Chief Sustainability Officer of Albion Farms & Fisheries. “A number of our fishing vessels now have the ability to independently track and collect fishing data along with a unique traceable lot code. This initiative enables our customers to get virtually closer to the source and satisfies their desire to know more about their food sources.”
Consumers and buyers will know exactly where the fish was caught, the date it was caught, how it was caught, the fishing vessel, and the skipper. The technology even records the temperature inside a vessel’s hold to ensure top quality.
San Francisco-based Pelagic Data Systems (PDS) has outfitted several vessels with its solar-powered vessel tracking system which records the vessel’s location, fishing activity and storage temperature. Data is then transmitted via cellular network to Pelagic’s online platform. When fish is landed at port, catch data is then uploaded to ThisFish, a Vancouver-based global traceability system, which generates a unique scannable label with a QR code that allows chefs and consumers to trace the origins of their fish. Pelagic Data Systems and ThisFish can then cross-check data to ensure accurate reporting. The comprehensive track-and-trace system provides an unparalleled level of integrity and transparency to the supply chains of wild-caught salmon.
Dean concluded, “By partnering with ThisFish and Pelagic Data Systems, Albion Farms & Fisheries has implemented a unique real-time track-and-trace system directly from our hook-and-line troll fleet to our white tablecloth consumers and high-end retailers.”
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Albion Farms & Fisheries (AFF) is one of Western Canada's largest fully integrated meat and seafood suppliers, delivering outstanding service that clients come to know and trust. A founding member of the Ocean Wise sustainable seafood program, AFF sources, promotes and offers one of the largest selections of environmentally friendly seafood options in Canada. http://www.albion.ca
ThisFish is a global provider of seafood traceability technology that improves business efficiency and increases trust and transparency in seafood supply chains. Founded by Ecotrust Canada and based in Vancouver, ThisFish’s mission is to improve the social, environmental, and financial sustainability of enterprises and fish harvesters by making seafood supply chains more transparent. ThisFish enables consumers to make more informed choices which, in turns, rewards those who responsibly harvest and handle seafood. http://www.this.fish
Pelagic Data Systems (PDS) is the creator of ultra-lightweight vessel tracking systems for boats of all sizes. PDS's innovative system is completely solar-powered and affordable, and helps fishers and regulators alike collect the fishing data that they value most. PDS is active in Southeast Asia, Africa, and throughout the Americas where its technology is being used to combat illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing and help fishers maintain their livelihoods. http://www.pelagicdata.com
How Albion’s Track and Trace System Works
Albion Farms & Fisheries has developed long-standing relationships with a fleet of independent salmon trollers based in the North Coast of British Columbia. Using hooks, lines and lures, the trollers fish in the pristine waters of Hecate Strait and the seas surrounding Haida Gwaii, an offshore archipelago that is known as Canada’s Galapagos because of its unique evolutionary history. The trollers catch King Chinook and Coho salmon that are cleaned and quickly frozen at sea aboard the vessels to ensure sashimi-grade quality.
Here’s how Albion’s state-of-the-art Track and Trace System works:
1) VESSEL TRACKING
Pelagic Data Systems (PDS) outfits a vessel with its solar-powered vessel tracking device which records the vessel’s position every few seconds. The granular data is used to determine fishing activity, ensuring that vessels are fishing in legal zones during openings. The device is also connected to a sensor in the fish hold, collecting temperature data to ensure proper storage for top quality. Data is stored on the PDS device and also automatically transmitted via cellular network to PDS’s online platform for analysis.
2) PRODUCT TRACKING
Upon landing fish on Haida Gwaii or Prince Rupert, data about a vessel’s trip, including species, weight, fishing gear, fishing area, landing location and dates is uploaded to ThisFish’s online platform and a scannable label with a unique QR Code is tagged on every tote of frozen salmon. The QR code can be scanned to discover the story of the fish at www.this.fish.
3) DATA CROSS-CHECKING
Pelagic Data Systems and ThisFish are independently collecting data that can be cross-checked to ensure data integrity for each vessel. The cross-checking provides an extra level of verification and accuracy in the data to ensure that salmon were legally harvested.
4) NEXT STEP: TECHNOLOGY INTEGRATION
As part of its partnership with Albion Farms & Fisheries, Pelagic Data Systems and ThisFish are planning to integrate their software so that data can be automatically cross-checked between the two systems. When catch data from a fishing vessel is uploaded to its platform, ThisFish will automatically ping Pelagic Data Systems to cross-check data for the vessel. If data is consistent between the two systems, ThisFish will publish a notice that the data has been “Verified by Pelagic Data Systems” using its real-time tracking system. PDS and ThisFish are planning to test and pilot the software integration using data from Albion’s salmon troll fleet later this summer.