Google and Local Sustainable Seafood Distributor Partner to Improve Traceability

Editor’s note: We kicked off our first annual Food Loves Tech event last summer in Chelsea—here’s a recap. We’re bringing a taste of the food and farming future back this year, but just across the East River at Industry City. Leading up to the event, this story is part of an ongoing series about technology’s effects on our food supply.

Seafood is notoriously difficult to trace and in the US alone, where around 90 percent of it is imported, the large majority of seafood will pass through dozens of hands and travel thousands of miles to reach supermarkets and restaurants. 

Evolving their concept for the digital age, local sustainable seafood distributor Dock to Dish is combatting these murky supply chain waters by teaming up with Google’s Global Fish Watch program. By adopting the latest technologies of ship-tracking and mapping, (with FishTrax and Pelagic Data Systems,) their daily catch will become digitally traceable, so both chefs and consumers can tap in online to follow their seafood’s journeys from boat to dinner plates through an innovative system dubbed “Dock to Dish 2.0.” The Kickstarter campaign to put this sophisticated technology into motion begins today, March 1, and Dock to Dish hopes to make theirs a model for all seafood systems, working towards a more transparent fishing industry.

With Sean Barrett at its helm, seafood distributor Dock to Dish has been working with local fisheries to restore the traditional “know your fisherman” concept for five years. Using a responsible seafood distribution model, Dock to Dish only sells the daily catch to chefs who have prepaid, and they don’t “take requests.” They also won’t deliver their fish farther than a 150-mile radius from where it was landed, highlighting the importance of eating locally to reduce carbon footprint. What began as a community-supported fishery in Montauk, Dock to Dish is the first restaurant-supported fishery (RSF) in the world, with a nationwide CSA-style system and a happy hoard of chefs and restaurants supporting them.

You can learn more about their Kickstarter campaign to raise $75K by the end of the month here.