Fraud is alarmingly common across the $150-billion global seafood industry, but blockchain technology is offering new ways to bring accountability to the age-old industry. Estimates suggest that between 11% and 30% of seafood products are illegal, unreported, or unregulated in the US, where more than $2.4 billion of illegal seafood was consumed in 2019, according to a report from the United States International Trade Commission.
Governments and consumers are increasingly demanding increased transparency and traceability in seafood, with some programs aiming to require traceability all the way from the grocery store back to the boat. How do you achieve that across a massive, global industry? One solution lies in the blockchain project Fishcoin, which pays fishers and aquafarmers cryptocurrency when they report data online at various stages of the seafood supply chain.
“Within the next coming years, we’re gonna see traceability become the expectation in food and a lot of other products that receive ingredients from distant, fragmented supply chains,” said Mark Kaplan, co-founder and partner of Envisible and Wholechain. “Blockchain can really change the status quo, and as it gets more distributed and more understood, the industry will make it the norm.”