Blockchain enabled Fish Provenance and Quality Tracking System

Wed 26 Feb
Blockchain enabled Fish Provenance and Quality Tracking System

Australian fisheries are internationally recognised to be among the most sustainable in the world. Our fisheries management is rigorous and scientifically based and now seafood industry leaders are improving the visibility of this science for consumers. 

Sydney Fish Market, in collaboration with a number of research partners led by The University of Technology Sydney, are utilising Blockchain technology to develop a Fish Provenance and Quality Tracking System. The system will enable transparency along the supply chain, real-time tracking and provide provenance and quality assessment information to encourage consumer confidence and add value to Australia’s seafood industry. 

The project applies The Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence, image processing and electronic-nose technologies to develop a system that captures and verifies real-time tracking of fish catch origin and quality information, while Blockchain and smart contract are used to ensure trustworthiness of the tracking data.

The scope of the project includes the development of a Fisherman App and on-board camera system that will capture the time and location of their catch and upload this information to the Blockchain.  With time, pattern recognition technologies will be able to identify the fish species and size once caught.   In a world-first, information collected from image processing and electronic-nose technology will be combined with temperature history of the fish along the supply chain to provide a comprehensive quality index assessment.   The freshness of fish is currently assessed through observing the appearance of key indicators such as eyes, scales and fins in which colour usually has a high relevance to quality.  Using these indicators as focal points to develop image processing technologies and combining with advances in electronic-nose technologies will enable objective quality assessments of seafood. 

The electronic-nose (also known as ‘e-nose’) technology is a component of the project that aims to provide a consistent, objective tool to assess fish freshness by analysing trace gasses that provide an indicator of fish freshness.

The final outcome of the project will be the development of a consumer App that will allow traders and consumers to confidently verify information including the catch time and location, temperature control and freshness of their seafood purchase. 

Sydney Fish Market and its collaborators have commenced early trials of the various technologies with positive results.  It is hoped that the technology will be available to consumers in the coming years. 

To support the Fish Provenance and Quality Tracking System, Sydney Fish Market has also partnered with the Food Agility Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) which brings together 54 participants from food, technology and research sectors to lead the digital revolution in food production and supply. Sydney Fish Market is working closely with the Food Agility CRC on projects that will harness new and existing digital technologies to transform the way the industry does business.

The projects that the Food Agility CRC and Sydney Fish Market are collaborating on include finding methods to improve product quality and sustainability, drive efficiency in logistics and wholesale methods and create new experiences for consumers and tourists.

The Food Agility CRC already has projects underway in the aquaculture, wheat and viticulture industries, working with partners to help Australian agrifood industries be more globally competitive and sustainable.

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Definitions:

Blockchain is a distributed ledger technology (DLT) that allows data to be stored globally on thousands of servers – while letting anyone on the network see everyone else's entries in near real-time

The Internet of Things is the interconnection, via the Internet, of computing devices embedded in everyday objects, enabling them to send and receive data

Electronic-nose (e-nose) technologies assess fish freshness by analysing trace gasses from harvested fish

Smart contracts are converted to computer code, stored and replicated on the system and supervised by the network of computers that run the blockchain. They help to exchange money, property, shares, or anything of value in a transparent, conflict-free way while avoiding the services of an intermediary such as a lawyer