Albion adopts new, real-time seafood traceability technology

Imagine a salmon fleet in the offshore waters of the Pacific Ocean near Canada's remote Haida Gwaii archipelago  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? 

Canada's Albion Farms & Fisheries is teaming up with two leading technology companies to pioneer a comprehensive, real-time tracking and traceability system for its salmon fleet along British Columbia'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 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, the company said.

Like a social network, the technology allows chefs and seafood lovers to send messages directly to their fishermen. Click to see catch from Capt. Bob Pottle on the FV Laurel Anne

“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. 

“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.” 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 that 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 that 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 said. 

“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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