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Fiji chosen as first to have blockchain technology

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Update: 3:56PM WITH the increasing risk of illegal fishing in the region, Fiji has been selected as the first country in the world to have blockchain technology piloted on our shores to ensure the traceability of sea food supply.

Blockchain is simply a database that creates a transparent recording transactions between several parties efficiently and in a verifiable, valid, and permanent way.

And this will be undertaken in Fiji to ensure that the supply of tuna fished from our waters are tracked and data collected could be used to reduce illegal fishing.

The World Wide Fund (WWF) for Nature developed the initiative to ensure the region was equipped with tools to address illegal fishing and also capture lost revenue in the Pacific and sustainably manage their fisheries.

Western and Central Pacific Tuna program manager at WWF Alfred Cook said as evidenced by the Pacific Islands Forum Fishing Agency's (FFA), quantitative analysis of illegal, unregulated, and unreported fishing in 2016 remained a significant problem in the Pacific, with up to US$616 million (FJ$1215m) in revenue lost annually from the region's fisheries.

"As a conservation organisation, WWF hopes that blockchain supply chain traceability will increase the transparency, traceability, and honesty of the seafood supply chain, thereby creating market incentives that not only allow, but encourage, seafood buyers and consumers to choose the most ethical and sustainable choices," he said.

"By making those positive seafood choices, consumers will be simultaneously and continuously limiting the markets available for illegal or unethical fisheries that do not engage in blockchain traceability."

He said Fiji now had a broader opportunity to take a leadership role in the Pacific and the world to show, through this transparent and traceable system, that its products are sustainable and ethical.

"WWF and TraSeable have been keeping Fiji's  Ministry of Fisheries informed about this market based technology, which could have additional applications as part of a broader electronic Catch Documentation System used for governance purposes," he said.

There are plans in place to expand blockchain work throughout the Pacific and the rest of the world and according to Mr Cook, there is a strong possibility that blockchain traceability could become the de facto standard for supply chain traceability around the world.

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