The SeaTrace project aims to define a traceability system for the marine by-products industry Photo: Karen MurrayThe SeaTrace project aims to define a traceability system for the marine by-products industry Photo: Karen Murray

HSSMI and MarinTrust have begun a three-month feasibility study, funded by the UK Seafood Innovation Fund’s Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS), to define a traceability system for the UK’s marine by-product supply chain.  

Marine by-products such as head, fins, skin and bone are increasingly used in fish oils and cosmetics and, most importantly, in feed for farmed fish and seafood. The challenge is to find the ideal traceability system for such a fragmented and paper-based supply chain.

The SeaTrace project aims to examine the existing marine by-products supply chain in the UK, identify the data that needs to be recorded and exchanged and finally to define a robust electronic traceability system.

SeaTrace is innovative in that it assesses the different tracking systems such as RFID, Barcode, and QR code in combination with cloud data storage architectures like blockchain technology. This combination can connect fragmented pieces of the supply chain, increase the transparency of material flows and enhance data security.

The study will start by assessing current methods and systems already in place and then identify the key data and events that need to be recorded. It will then analyse technological solutions available on the market to determine which will enable the most viable system. Rather than adopting one single technology based on its perceived benefits, SeaTrace will conduct a comprehensive evaluation of a range of technologies.

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