Barcodes aid transparency of fishing industry

24th March 2014 - Fine Cut

One of the primary benefits of barcodes is that they can contain a wealth of potentially complex information, encrypted in just a few dashed lines.

This can be easily read by a specialised scanner, saving companies a lot of time and effort compiling, monitoring and updating detailed records by hand. 

One individual capitalising on this technology in a bid to satisfy market demand is a Rhode Island fishing captain, who is using barcodes to tag his catch in order to give consumers all the information they want to know about the fish on their plate.

Following on from scandals such as the horse meat debacle, there is arguably a much greater need for traceability when it comes to food produce - something that barcodes can help to facilitate. 

According to the Boston Globe, founder of Red's Best fish dealership at Boston Fish Pier Jared Auerbach has developed a programme to create a barcode that shows not only what kind of fish it is and where it came into harbour, but also which boat caught it, who was the captain at the time and what tackle was used to bring it in.

By promoting this traceability and putting more emphasis on the importance of sourcing local produce, the captain says it highlights the "value in the story of the fish".

The only issue with the system, which he openly admits, is that the barcode can just be peeled off or even programmed to deliver erroneous information. However, it is all steps towards promoting an honest supply chain. 

This follows recent news that two slaughterhouse bosses on this side of the pond will be facing charges following claims they broke the laws regarding traceability of horse meat, even though it is not alleged the pair were selling it as another kind of produce.

If you are interested in using barcodes within your business model for tracing, tracking or monitoring purposes, give us a call and our expert team will be able to advise you about how to realise your objectives.

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