Fish tracing technology helping to prevent overfishing, illegal practices

Electronic tagging could help prevent overfishing and unsustainable practices.

Photo: Wikimedia user Matt Sharp.

Seafood importers face a difficult task if they want to ensure that their products were sustainably caught. Since they are typically not involved in the actual fishing process, they need a way to make sure that the commercial fishing boats they rely on are using responsible practices without actually monitoring every single vessel.

Electronic tracking is making this job easier. A recent article on provides details on the electronic tagging system that Norpac Fisheries Export, which has offices in Seattle and Hawaii, deployed to ensure that their products made their way through the supply chain without any illegal practices. The tagging program was originally developed as a way to monitor inventory, but has quickly evolved into a system for verifying responsible practices. The tagging system involves attaching a barcode to each fish that lets them know which boat it came from, where it was caught and how many fish were caught at the same time.

Future of Fish, a nonprofit that advocates for sustainable fishing, states that this type of electronic tagging is crucial for preventing overfishing. It's an easy way to monitor where commercial fishing vessels are obtaining their catches.

Commercial fishermen are often sensitive about sharing information about where they obtained their catches, as these details are treated like trade secrets that make them more competitive. To fix this problem, Norpac encrypts the data so that it is more secure.

For those in the seafood industry who want to make the job of finding legal fisheries easier, it is crucial to ensure that you have the latest fishfinder and chartplotter technology onboard your vessels. You can obtain this equipment for the best prices by shopping at ePal!

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