Thai Union and Mars Petcare implemented an innovative digital traceability pilot project. (Photo: Thai Union)
Thai Union and Mars Petcare strengthen efforts to fight against IUU fishing
Wednesday, September 12, 2018, 23:20 (GMT + 9)
Thai Union Group PCL and Mars Petcare have launched a documentary film showing how they introduced digital traceability and e-logbooks in supply chains to promote greater sustainability in the fishing industry.
The video is the final in a three-part series which chronicles an innovative digital traceability pilot project implemented last year in Thailand where fishing vessels were outfitted with ‘Fleet One’ terminals.
As part of the project, crew members, captains and fleet 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—to help boost human rights.
Footage in the most recent film 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 illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, monitor labor standards on vessels and protect stock levels for the future.
Digitally recording details at the time of capture greatly reduces errors in data entry and enhances accuracy. And when paired with satellite connectivity, markets, traders or regulators on land 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 captain’s logbook and the captain manually recording the information. But now we have the technology to digitally record the information,” said Dr. Darian McBain, Thai Union’s global director for sustainable development.
McBain explained that 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.
For his part, Isabelle Aelvoet, Mars Petcare’s global sustainability director, pointed out that this type of real-time information gives them 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.
“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,” she added.
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.