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Joined: Oct 1999
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Marty Offline OP
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Ready to Dine on the Catch of the Day?

Well if you're dining in San Pedro, you'll have the chance to learn more about your meal than you ever imagined.

That's because of the new "Fresca Pesca" app, a digital link between fisher, restaurateur, and consumer that's setting a standard for transparency and hopefully sustainable fishing.

It's still in it's pilot phase but this morning I was invited to San Pedro to test it out first hand. Here's that story.

This is Elvi's Kitchen, home to Ambergris's Cayes most delectable, fish, squid, and lobster dishes.

And now, home to a set of all-important QR codes - linked to the Fresca Pesca app - that are now permanently affixed to the tables.

But they're not for the contactless menu, they're a portal to quite an unexpected show with your dinner.

"I scan this little symbol here and it shows you what fish are available today, who caught it, it shows you the fishing trip, the map and there is even a fisehermen greeting here. Fastastic."

Jacinta Gomez, Outreach and Project Director, OCEANA
"The way it works is a virtual observer is posted on to the fishing vessel where the fisher goes out and that captures the fishing activity. It also analyzes the fishing activity on the back end. When the fisher comes back in they are able to update an e-reporting app with the fishing data, so key harvesting data like the species, the gear they use, the amount of sich they caught, where they caught that fish and all of this goes into the cloud and its link to that video of the actual fishing activity. They slap a label on their icebox and they bring that to the restaurant that they want to sell it to or they post it on a marketplace app where restaurateurs are able to browse and see the catch of the day in real time as the fisher is posting it. When the restaurateurs received that they are able to scan that QR code and that links to the QR codes that you see on the tables here at Elvi's, so that you as the consumers are able to come in here, dine and have dinner and a show basically. You scan the QR code and you will be able to see footage of your fisher catching what's on your plate and reading more about them where they are from and also reading about the landing site, so whether that fish was landed here on the island or if it was landed in Dangriga for example."

And with the fish on your plate having such varied origins. It'll be more important than ever to know whether your meal is safe and sustainable. And that's hard even for an expert.

Sourcing fish is a way of life for Chef Jennie Staines, but she shocked the media this morning when she told us that before the app she'd often make overnight trips to Belize City to buy the finfish prepared at Elvi's.

Jennie Staines, Chef, Elvi's Kitchen
"Just this week I had somebody call me and showed me a picture of a fish that they got that supposedly should be grouper. It was parrotfish and that's illegal and this happened this week."

"With me it hasn't really happened, I catch on there and then but they always try to give you barracuda, deep water triggers, Deep water triggers are not bad you know but it's not a good fish to sell. It's hard like a rock. So these are the different that will help the industry and we will have a better product."

Happy chefs and happy fishers, OCEANA says it hopes that the app will open up a wider array of opportunities for fishers countrywide.

Jacinta Gomez, Outreach and Project Director, OCEANA
"We're also interested in allowing Belizean fishers to take ownership of the process and giving them access to newer markets, so for example, a San Pedro fisher is able to easily send their catch on the island but for example, now they're able to post that and for example, a resort in Placencia can purchase from them and you know they have a wider market and a market that is open to people willing to pay a premium price because they know that it's been responsibly sourced. You have the added benefit of giving your customers an entire new experience by scanning the QR code and seeing the entire story."

Amy Knox is another island chef who's excited to give that new experience to her customers, but she also hopes that the data collected will be a telling indicator of the industry's responsibility to the Ocean.

Amy Knox, Wild Mango's Restaurant
"If you think about it there's how many restaurant's here on San Pedro and we all use fish, as well, as, we have to do it sustainably or we're new app is going one step forward."

"It will make you more aware of season's, and doing the right thing and of trying to protect the species. Two three years ago in January, fish kin of run around, sell it as if they had caught their on snapper -protect the species and be sustainable."

And no conversation about sustainability would be complete without considering islanders who traditionally put fish in tea, dinner, and tea. We wondered if wider access to fishermen and their produce would drive the price too high for everyday people?

Alyssa Noble
"This is actually going to give consumers a lot more choice, I think in terms of fish. This particularly is with restaurants and how restaurants sourced sea food, so it wouldn't negate or impact individuals ability to be able to source sea food directly anyway, but I also want to ask yourselves beyond this app and you look at the price of seafood that how its been rising dramatically over the past few years as the cost of inputs have gone up."

And for many, the Fresca Pesca app is a breath of fresh air or maybe a wave of salty water: sustainability in the perfect union of traditional fishing practices and innovative technology.

A the provenance of fish is all important to a restaurant like Elvis's which serves about 100 pounds of the stuff a week right now in the slow season but could serve up as much as 600 pounds a week during an average tourist high season.

Channel 7

Fish Right, Eat Right-Catch to Kitchen App Test Piloted

Oceana Belize is piloting its "Fish Right, Eat Right" initiative in San Pedro. The technology allows for restaurateurs to track their fish purchase, from catch to kitchen. It is Oceana's intent to encourage fishers to practice more sustainable ways of fishing. Currently, ten fisher folk are using the application, with some twenty five restaurants on San Pedro being trained to use the technology. News Five's Paul Lopez visited San Pedro today to learn more.

Paul Lopez, Reporting

Rarely do consumers of fin fish products question where their fish comes from, or ask if it was caught using a sustainable method.� So, why should we care about these tidbits of information? According to Oceana Belize, it makes the world of difference.

Jacinta Gomez, Outreach Project Director, Oceana Belize

"So the Idea is that you want to know that the fish you are eating is one that is caught responsibly. It is not caught with gear that will contribute to more overfishing. It is a fish that isn't protected. And you really want to just ensure that you are being a responsible consumer, then impacting the fishers, because if we demand better, they will provide what we demand."

Oceana Belize is revolutionizing the way we eat fish at our local restaurants. To find out more we visited Elvi's Kitchen on the Island of San Pedro.

Jacinta Gomez

"Today is our fish fillet. We have a choice of snapper or grouper. Different styles that we can prepare the snapper or grouper, on our menu, our famous coconut cream our creamy garlic butter sauce."

The creamy garlic butter sauce grouper fillet sounded too good to resist. While my order went into the kitchen for preparation, I learned more about Oceana Belize's fish right eat right initiative.

Jacinta Gomez

"We are here to talk about something that we as Belizeans all love, fish. Whether it is fish soup, fry fish, has fish, we all want it fresh. And, that is what we advertise in Belize to locals and tourist alike. When we say catch of the day, we are talking about fish. And more and more, consumers want to know where there fish are coming from, and that includes our sea food. Who caught it? What area is it coming from?"

And that is the idea with which the initiative was birthed, to make a direct connection between restaurants and fishers that are fishing responsibly. The technology is being provided by a company called Shell Catch. It incorporates three components, e-monitoring, e-reporting, e-marketing.� Here is how it works from catch to kitchen, courtesy a video provided to us by Oceana Belize.


" Morning B! Ready fuh full deh box?"

Josh Marin, Fisher Man

"Yeah man just grab the rope and I wah put on the camera�Each and every time we go out, we have to find further grounds. So, when I heard about the program, I found it as a very good business opportunity. Other fishermen when they go out, they tend to bring in anything and everything. That is what me and my crew don't do. We practice responsible fishing."


"Show me how the app work G."

Josh Marin

"Easy thing, we will put in how much fish wih have. Today we get fifteen pound of champagne and thirty pounds of queens. Punch that in and that's all. One more thing."

Connecting responsible fishers directly to restaurant chefs like Jennie Staines at Elvi's Kitchen has solved sourcing and quality issues. Chef Staines serves up to a hundred plates of fin fish� per week, which means her demand for fresh quality fish is high.

Jennie Staines, Chef, Elvi's Kitchen

"Starting out we had to call Belize City, sometimes go to Pound Yard Bridge, wait til from three o'clock til five because you have to come back home. Sometimes you have to spend the overnight in Belize City, or try to source from people in Sartaneja."

Paul Lopez

" So it solves your sourcing problem. But, how interested are you in also knowing where your fish comes from, where it is caught?"

Jennie Staines

"That is the beauty of it now, commercial fishermen that the program got into from San Pedro. Now, we just have to call them a few weeks before, tell them the amount of fish we want. And, they will go out, fish; we will know exactly what they are catching, because they have their cameras. And, we will know from they are out at sea, what we will be getting."

And, lunch is served.

Pau Lopez

"What I have here is some fish, garlic butter, a bit of potato salad, what some plantains and coconut rice. What I am about to do is scan the app, and what this app is telling me is that my grouper came from a fisherman named Jose Marin. His port is right here in San Pedro. This showing me how Jose caught the fish, where he caught the fish, since he has this camera installed. So, it's an innovative way of that dining, all brought to us by Oceana and Elvi's kitchen. But all of that doesn't matter if the food doesn't taste good.� Alright, traceable grouper, mmm, so good."

Currently the app only allows for fishermen to market their products to restaurateurs. But soon enough, as interest grows, the regular consumer, like you and I, who visit the fish market will be able to access these services.

Channel 5

Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 84,400
Marty Offline OP
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Want to know how to avoid fish fraud? Chef Sean Kuylen is here to share the best tips to ensure responsibly-sourced seafood!

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