Dock to Dish 2.0 Brings Blockchain Principles to Small-Scale Fisheries with Leading Tech Firms, Illuminates Entire Supply Chain for Wild Seafood
A PIONEERING U.S. FISHERIES GROUP AND TWO LEADING TECHNOLOGY FIRMS HAVE SUCCESSFULLY LAUNCHED THE WORLD’S FIRST HYBRID GEOSPATIAL DATABASE SYSTEM WITH LIVE TRACKING INTEGRATION, MAKING NEAR REAL-TIME “END TO END” MONITORING OF WILD SEAFOOD SUPPLY CHAINS A NEW REALITY IN THE MARKETPLACE
August 30, 2017 – MONTAUK, N.Y. – Today, the Dock to Dish network of restaurant-supported fishery programs, in partnership with Pelagic Data Systems, Local Catch and FishTrax Marketplace, is launching a futuristic system designed to combat seafood fraud and lead an often opaque industry towards a new frontier of verifiable source transparency. The revolutionary track and trace hybrid technology, dubbed Dock to Dish 2.0, is the first public-facing system to ever integrate cutting edge vessel and vehicle tracking with an advanced geospatial electronic fishery database and information platform.
“For the first time ever in the history of the seafood industry, the Dock to Dish 2.0 system can provide clear, accurate and verifiable source information with tamperproof digital assets to restaurant and institutional level members in near-real time, throughout our entire supply chain,” said Trevor Swope, co-founder of Dock to Dish. “We practice an incredibly broad spectrum of sustainability initiatives here, with source transparency at the core of our mission. Starting today, our members, and anyone else who is interested, can now easily identify exactly who caught what fish and confirm when, where and how it was caught in the FishTrax database. Everyone can now follow the catch on the digital dashboard as it travels from the boat over land to the target destination using a new terrestrial application of the innovative Pelagic Data Systems tracking system. This is an absolute game-changer.”
The groundbreaking results of combining two state-of-the-art technologies into one seamless system are immediately evident, and the entire Dock to Dish supply chain in New York can now be observed using the unique live tracking dashboard currently displayed on the homepage of the company’s website (www.docktodish.com). Activated and brought online last night after a six-month long collaborative construction phase, the digital dashboard monitors artisanal hauls of wild seafood—with precision accuracy—from individual fishing vessels at sea directly to end consumers on land, in near-real time calibration.
Brian Ahlers, Traceability Researcher and Senior Program Manager at FishTrax Marketplace, said, “Right now many wild seafood markets lack transparency and are subject to considerable misrepresentation and fraud. It is very hard to know if your seafood choices are good for fishing communities and good for the planet. Up to this point, consumers and businesses have often entirely lacked authentic information about the origin of their seafood. With Dock to Dish 2.0, everyone can immediately access the who, what, where, when, and how behind the seafood on their plate. Featuring an interactive Google Earth display that shows where the fish was caught, consumers can also view video content, pictures, and additional information that enhances their dining experience. Want to send a message to the actual fisherman who caught your fish, right from your phone? On this new system, go right ahead.”
The lead designer and web developer on the Dock to Dish 2.0 project, Julianna Stoll, drew from her previous experience building a geospatial database website for the Local Catch organization (www.localcatch.org). Local Catch, a grassroots network of independent fishery programs across the country, was founded by Julianna’s brother, Josh Stoll, Ph.D., a regional fisheries expert focused on increasing the economic, social, and stewardship capacity of small-scale fishing communities.
Melissa Garren, co-founder of Pelagic Data Systems (PDS), is a molecular and marine biologist from MIT with a passion for unlocking the mysteries of our ocean's ecosystems, and finding new avenues for conservation. “Dock to Dish 2.0 goes well beyond the traditional scope of transparency, and pierces through the historical barrier of just tracking vessel movements,” Ms. Garren said of the vast capacity of the new system. “This new hybrid system now connects our vessel tracks through the landing facility, and then continues on to track the delivery vehicles moving over land. This is the new gold standard of tracking and traceability in wild seafood.”
“PDS had long worked to integrate our tracking system into more links in the supply chain,” Ms. Garren added. “In Dock to Dish’s operation, the seafood landings have all been forward contracted and purchased in advance by their restaurant members That unique characteristic of their model essentially eliminates the traditional supply chain, making full chain implementation of this new integrated technology remarkably straightforward.”
PDS’s ultra-light, solar powered vessel and vehicle monitoring devices track very accurately—pinging data to the retriever every second by way of cellular towers. The voluminous flow of information in the new system generates large amounts of raw data, and PDS is already working on developing analysis tools so it can soon provide actionable information.
Fellow marine biologist Sarah Rathbone, M.S. in marine fisheries management from UCSB, and celebrated sustainable seafood chef Michael Cimarusti are co-founders of the Dock to Dish program in California. Both confirmed the urgent need for this advanced tracking and traceability technology to be brought to bear on the marketplace there. The duo will soon be launching a Pacific coast version of Dock to Dish 2.0 with a small fleet of artisanal fishermen based out of Santa Barbara. “More than half of the seafood recently DNA tested in a study conducted here in Los Angeles was found to be mislabeled, and virtually no suppliers can, or will, provide accurate source information about where the wild seafood available here is coming from,” Ms. Rathbone said.
“The new Dock to Dish 2.0 system will quickly elevate the standards of the overall industry,” Mr. Cimarusti said. “Consumers, especially younger demographics, are feverishly demanding to know where their food is coming from, like never before. Within the next five to ten years you will see a rapid proliferation of this type of technology as all categories of food, not just wild seafood, begin to dive deeply into the emerging technologies available to us here in the digital age. The future of sustainability is traceability.”
ABOUT PELAGIC DATA SYSTEMS
Pelagic Data Systems ® (PDS) is the creator of ultra-lightweight vessel tracking systems for boats of all sizes. PDS's innovative vessel tracking system is completely solar-powered and affordable, and helps fishers and regulators alike collect the fishing data that they value most. PDS is active in Southeast Asia, Africa, and throughout the Americas where its technology is being used to combat illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing and help fishers maintain their livelihoods. Pelagic Data Systems is based in San Francisco, California.
ABOUT DOCK TO DISH
Dock to Dish ® is an international network of small-scale fishermen, marine biologists and sustainable seafood advocates who are working in teams from ports and harbors across North and Central America. We are collectively committed to making local, traceable, low-impact wild seafood accessible to organized groups of cooperative members through our unique community and restaurant supported fishery programs. Over the past five years we have worked on the coastal frontiers of the local food movement, creating new alternatives to old industrialized seafood supply chains in cities and towns spanning from New York and California to Canada and Costa Rica. Across this broad spectrum, our place-based sourcing initiatives have blazed new trails toward the restoration of transparency and sustainability in ocean-driven cuisine, and the wild seafood marketplace at large. In June of 2017, The United Nations Foundation designated the Dock to Dish community and restaurant supported fishery model as one of the top breakthrough innovations that can scale to solve the ocean’s grand challenges—and put us on a path to healthy, valued, understood oceans. Dock to Dish is headquartered in Montauk, New York.
ABOUT FISHTRAX MARKETPLACE
Since 2005 FishTrax ™ Systems, Inc. has led the way in the seafood traceability arena. From the Klamath River Salmon Disaster to the BP Horizon Gulf Oil Spill, the organization has a long history of working with industry to develop traceable seafood and help seafood businesses and fishermen. As part of Dock to Dish 2.0, FishTrax now joins Pelagic Data Systems to offer fresh, high quality, traceable product with an interactive story to back it up. Initially developed by scientists from Oregon State University, fishermen, and other members of the regional seafood industry, all proceeds of FishTrax go to support continued efforts in collaborative, sustainable fisheries research to address the problems and opportunities of tomorrow. These organizations cover both coasts of the United States, and are based in Newport, Oregon.
ABOUT LOCAL CATCH
LocalCatch.org is a community-of-practice that is made up of fisherman, organizers, researchers, and consumers from across North America that are committed to providing local, healthful, low-impact, and economy sustainable seafood via community supported fisheries (CSFs) and other direct marketing arrangements. We believe this work is critical for supporting healthy fisheries and the communities that depend on them. We seek to increase the visibility and viability of community-based fishermen and aim to provide assistance to individuals and organizations that need support envisioning, designing, and implementing locally-relevant businesses that work towards a triple bottom line. Local Catch is headquartered in Maine.
ABOUT CHEF MICHAEL CIMARUSTI
Executive Chef Michael Cimarusti is a co-founder of Dock to Dish and leads the movement in California. At his trio of seafood-focused concepts, he combines his knowledge and appreciation of the dynamic nature of seafood with an advocacy for sustainable fishing practices evident in every dish. Cimarusti’s acclaimed first restaurant Providence, a bastion of Los Angeles fine dining for over a decade, has yielded several James Beard Award nominations and two highly coveted Michelin stars, and was founded on reverence for world-class fish cookery that reinforces the principles of sustainability and seasonality. Cimarusti’s second concept, Connie and Ted’s pays homage to Cimarusti’s grandparents and the simple, honest seafood cookery of New England. His newest venture is Cape Seafood and Provisions, a sustainable seafood market opened in the fall of 2016 houses the headquarters of the L.A. chapter of Dock to Dish, serving wild-caught whole fish and sustainable custom filets. Dock to Dish LA has grown exponentially under Cimarusti’s advocacy and leadership on the West Coast, indoctrinating some of L.A.’s best restaurants to the program including Republique, Mozza, Felix, Charcoal and Melisse, N/Naka, Otium, Angelini, and Belcampo. Cimarusti and his team at Cape Seafood also provide sustainably caught seafood from the Dock to Dish LA program to the general public at the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market every weekend.