Thai Union and Mars Petcare are utilising digital traceability and e-logbooks as part of the fight against IUU fishing, with a pilot project implemented last year in Thailand in which fishing vessels were fitted with Fleet One terminals.
Crews, skippers and owners were also trained on chat applications which enable them to connect with families and peers while at sea – an industry first for Thai fisheries.
Footage in the most recent video released by Thai Union explores how e-logbooks were used as a key link in the digital chain of custody verification system and supported industry efforts to guard against IUU fishing, monitor labour standards and protect stock levels.
Digitally recording details at the time of capture greatly reduces errors in data entry and enhances accuracy. When paired with satellite connectivity, markets, traders or regulators ashore can receive instant updates about catch time, catch location, species caught, the volume of fish caught, as well as where the fish are stored.
‘The industry currently relies upon a traditional logbook and the skipper manually recording the information. But now we have the technology to digitally record the information. We’re trying to introduce digital logbooks, so that electronically and digitally we can capture that information to give a greater deal of confidence, as well as full supply chain traceability,’ said Dr. Darian McBain, Thai Union’s global director for sustainable development. ‘Digital traceability and e-solutions represent a component of Thai Union’s Fishing for the Future technology program to tackle issues on human rights and IUU fishing, as well as bring greater transparency and traceability to the seafood industry.’
Traceability is a key component that benefits producers and consumers by bringing transparency to the entire system.
‘This type of real-time information gives us the most updated data about the number of crew on board, working conditions, and working hours, which will already be a huge difference versus what is currently available,’ said Isabelle Aelvoet, Mars Petcare’s global sustainability director.
‘Success for this pilot project could really mean a significant transformation in the seafood supply chain because for the first time there will be connectivity at sea.’
According to Dr. McBain, the pilot project not only has the potential to improve traceability and transparency throughout Thai waters, but also the global fishing industry since many issues in Thailand replicate themselves in fishing communities around the world.
The pilot project was implemented in line with Thai Union’s SeaChange sustainability strategy.
The entire three-part video series is now accessible on Thai Union’s official YouTube channel.