Since ancient times, humans have benefited from a wide variety of seafood products from capture fisheries, aquaculture or the harvesting of shellfish and other aquatic organisms such as algae.
And the regular consumption—if moderate and diversified—of fish and shellfish contributes many benefits to our health. Our passion for seafood has grown so much in recent years that seafood is now the world’s most traded food.
However, consumer concern about the ability of governments and other institutions to produce seafood sustainably has increased in recent years. Factors such as the global state of fishery resources, the environmental and social impacts of intensive aquaculture and the expansion of complex and opaque international trade networks are responsible for this growing concern.
This has led to the birth of a whole series of initiatives and tools to create consumer-oriented traceability systems that aim to connect consumers with the identity, history and source of their fish or seafood. Easy-to-trace supply chains promote trust and the development of a more direct relationship between fishers, the public, consumers, retailers, wholesalers, managers and cooks.
In addition, by eating seafood and knowing who caught a fish, when and how it was caught, and what fish it is, consumers are taking on some responsibility for the health of wild fisheries, coastal communities and the ocean. Commitment to healthier marine ecosystems is not only crucial, it is also a moral imperative that ensures that future generations will inherit a clean and healthy ocean.
As in other Slow Food campaigns, Slow Fish is committed to “good, clean and fair” fish. The Slow Fish Caribe project, thanks to the commitment and effort of the fishermen of the Cozumel Fishing Cooperative Society, has developed an innovative traceability system for spiny lobster. During the 2019 fishing season, 9,600 lobsters from the Slow Food Banco Chinchorro and Sian Ka´an Spiny Lobster Presidium will be labeled with a headband with a QR code. This headband guarantees that the lobster has been correctly handled, refrigerated and protected, with maximum hygiene, and that it has been caught in an artisanal, selective and environmentally friendly way.
By scanning the code, consumers can access a page where they can find out about the vessel that caught that lobster and meet the fishermen who are the protagonists of this fascinating story. In addition, through the numerical code on each label, consumers can also learn more specific information about their lobster, such as the day and area of fishing, biological data and much more.
You can navigate the Presidium lobster traceability system here (in Spanish): www.slowfood.com/es/que-hacemos/themes/slow-fish-caribe/el-sistema-de-trazabilidad-del-baluarte-de-la-langosta-de-banco-chinchorro-y-sian-kaan/
If you want to know more about the spiny lobster Presidium and the sustainable fishing processes used by the Banco Chinchorro and Sian Ka’an cooperatives, you can download the Responsible Lobster Consumption Manual here (in Spanish): https://n4v5s9s7.stackpathcdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/Presentacion_esp_V9.pdf