What is Fishcoin?
The seafood industry is on the verge of a massive transition. For millennia, fish and other seafood products have been harvested, processed, sold, exported, shipped, imported, resold by wholesalers, and ultimately sold or served to consumers. The industry has always had its challenges, but up to now it has functioned in order to bring us the seafood we consume. However, this ecosystem is rapidly growing to exceed sustainable capacity. Consider the following points: Global per capita seafood consumption has more than doubled in the past 50 years ; 89% of global wild fish stocks are already overfished or fully exploited; Up to 50% of seafood is discarded or wasted along supply chains; 1 in 10 people on the planet owe their livelihoods to fisheries and aquaculture.
In recent decades, almost every agricultural industry has used data to drive efficiency and innovation, but seafood is lagging behind in this regard. While physical seafood goods are being transferred through global supply chains, what is not being transferred in any significant way is the related data. This lack of data comes at a cost. Without this data, fish stocks cannot be properly managed, supply chain efficiencies cannot be substantially improved, cold chain and logistics services cannot be easily coordinated, and the world’s growing population, projected to rise by 37% by 2050, could inevitably drive the seafood ecosystem to the point of collapse.
Governments are aware of this problem and are introducing regulations requiring more data to be captured about the seafood we consume. Non governmental organisations (NGOs) and universities are searching for solutions to help the industry coordinate and share more data. Forward thinking companies are requiring more data to validate their sustainability commitments. These are all positive steps, but they are insufficient unless the harvest and flow of data can begin to mirror the harvest and flow of seafood goods. The problem is that the global seafood industry is fragmented – from independent artisanal fishers and smallholder fish farmers, to independent consolidators and processors, to independent exporters, importers and wholesalers, to independent restaurants and retailers – no single central actor, or even group of actors, controls the flow of goods. In such an industry, which actor can be trusted to control the flow of data?
The seafood industry would benefit vastly from a decentralized data ecosystem that operates in parallel to the decentralized ecosystem of physical goods. As seafood is exchanged from actor to actor, peer-to-peer relationships are formed in which data can be shared, and reputation can be established. Blockchain is a powerful decentralized architecture designed to serve as both a mechanism and incentive structure for such decentralized ecosystems. Therefore, to address this issue, a team of seafood industry veterans, along with experts in technology, legal compliance, and ecosystem design have come together to develop a blockchain based data ecosystem specifically designed for the seafood industry. To facilitate and incentivize the exchange of data between actors, this ecosystem incorporates a utility token called Fishcoin.
Fishcoin is not meant to replace or disrupt fiat trade in the seafood industry. Instead, it is designed to incentivize the collection and input of data to help better manage resources. As the volume of data increases, efficiencies will be gained in the production and delivery of physical seafood goods, and with time, each mile of seafood supply chains will be transformed to become more sustainable, responsible and profitable. Fishcoin can be the reward for the millions of fishers and fish farmers who harvest the seafood we eat, as they harvest the data we need.