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Climate & sustainability

How to Save Our Oceans through Tech for Supply Chain Transparency

Learn how tech can enable supply chain transparency and traceability to empower consumers and improve ocean conservation.

This event does not require registration.

Date and time:

Tue 17 May 10:00 AM - 11:30 PM

Virtual + In person


Buddle Findlay, 1 Willis Street, Wellington

Boardroom, 17th floor, Webinar Passcode: 142519


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How to Save Our Oceans through Tech for Supply Chain Transparency

Do you know if the seafood on your plate is the result of illegal activities or the product of human misery? How can you know for sure? Approximately 90% of the world’s fisheries are fully exploited or overexploited, meaning there is no more room to accommodate any additional legal, much less illegal, fishing. Thus, illegal fishing is a clear and present danger to sustainable, well-managed fisheries and, ultimately, the sustainability and overall health of our ocean environment.

Additionally, some experts estimate the annual economic losses attributable to illegal fishing to be as much as US$50 billion and around 20 percent of the global seafood catch. At a current value of US$151 billion globally for wild capture fisheries, this means that illegal fish constitutes as much as 33 percent of the total value of wild capture seafood. Furthermore, awareness of human and labour rights violations across fisheries has grown substantially in recent years and evidence suggests that human and labour rights abuses are linked with illegal fishing.

Unfortunately, preventing illegally harvested fish or seafood produced by slave labour from entering the global market has proven exceedingly difficult due to the opacity and diffusion of seafood supply chains. Legal and illegal products can easily be intermixed and commingled at various points along the supply chain, effectively laundering illegal products while diluting the value of legally and ethically produced products. Without a mechanism to ensure the integrity of seafood products across the entire supply chain, bad actors will continue to profit at the expense of good actors.

A fully transparent and traceable seafood supply chain would hold bad actors accountable for their actions while rewarding good actors through a reactive market driven by informed consumers. However, existing systems are simply inadequate to allow for the level of transparency and traceability necessary to create accountability that prevents entry of illegally or unethically produced seafood into the supply chain. Additionally, while some companies have introduced electronic traceability systems over the last two decades, they generally lack the level of transparency and trust that can fully assure end markets, and consumers, of the provenance or any specific attributes of a product, such as sustainability claims. Blockchain offers a potential solution.

Join us to learn more about how blockchain traceability can empower consumers, through informed purchases, to drive ocean conservation toward a more sustainable future!

Webinar Passcode: 142519

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Bubba Picture

Bubba Cook

Western and Central Pacific Tuna Programme Manager

Alfred “Bubba” Cook has spent a lifetime on the ocean and 19 years working in fisheries.  He began his career in the US Navy, which took him around the world and sparked an interest in international fisheries.  Troubled by fishery declines he observed, he secured a B.S. in Fisheries from Texas A&M University followed by a J.D. in Environmental Law from Lewis & Clark College. He then worked for the U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service in Alaska, where he led implementation of the Bering Sea crab quota programme. He later joined WWF's Arctic Programme supporting fisheries projects in Russia and Alaska.  In 2010, he joined the U.S. Peace Corps in Fiji, where he supported small-scale marine conservation projects.  Since 2012, he has served as the Western and Central Pacific Tuna Programme Manager for WWF out of New Zealand, where he supports sustainable tuna fishing through policy improvements, market tools, and technological innovation.

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