From Sea to Table: New Bedford fishery using tech to let customers track seafood

Business News

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (WPRI) — We’re used to tracking our packages every step of the way. Now new technology is making that possible with seafood, and a local fishing company is right on the cutting edge.

IBM recently announced it is partnering with a New Bedford fishing company to implement new technology that lets customers scan a QR code on their smartphone and track their scallops from sea to table.

IBM and Raw Seafoods Inc. say it’s a new level of collaboration connecting global sourcing partners, retailers, restaurateurs and, most importantly, customers.

Starting Tuesday, a fleet of scallopers owned by Captain Danny Eilertsen of New Bedford will begin uploading data about their catch onto the platform, allowing distributors and retailers to identify exactly when and where scallops were harvested.

The platform will also track when the boat landed port side, and when each scallop lot was hand-graded, selected, packed and shipped to its final destination.

The information, along with images and video, are uploaded via satellite while still offshore. Once the data is uploaded, it becomes available to distributors, suppliers, retailers, and their customers.

Initial participants are on the West Coast and include Santa Monica Seafoods, TAPS Fish House and Brewery in Orange County, California, and Santa Monica Seafoods Market & Cafes in California.

Eilersten says he hopes this technology reconnects people to seafood.

“I hope this technology will address a number of problems that many in the industry believe explain why between 80% and 90% of Americans eat less than the recommended allotment of seafood,” Eilersten said.

“Now more than ever, people want to know where their food comes from,” said Tom Hope, director of food and beverage at TAPS Fish House & Brewery. “Not only will the data help us be more strategic as a business, we think customers are going to love it.”

New Bedford has one of the most lucrative fishing ports in the country.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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