9 Jan 2018

Tuna tracking technology trialled in Fiji

11:15 am on 9 January 2018

The World Wildlife Fund hopes new blockchain technology currently being piloted in Fiji will ensure greater transparency and accountability for tuna fishing.


Photo: RNZ / Philippa Tolley

Blockchain is a type of digital ledger that allows for the tracking of information along a chain of transactions.

Sea Quest has been trailing the software from American based company ConsenSys with the help of Fijian tech startup TraSeable, to electronically track tuna from when it is caught to retail.

WWF Australia chief executive Dermot O'Gorman said the pilot had been a success so far and he hoped the technology would be ready for commercial use by the end of the year.

"Block chain is a very new piece of technology and so we've been working through various aspects of how to use the blockchain technology to ensure from when the fish is landed onto the boat right through to where it is sold and transported around the world and then through to the consumer's plate," said Mr O'Gorman.

"So this pilot has been fantastic to show us the potential of blockchain and we will continue to really work this year to see how it might be scaled up."

Mr O'Gorman said there was hope for a QR code to be developed to show consumers which cans of tuna have been ethically and sustainably sourced.

The WWF in Fiji and New Zealand is also supporting the pilot aimed at combating illegal fishing and slave labour in the industry.