PRESS RELEASE: USAID Oceans Challenges Southeast Asian Tech Developers at Seafood Traceability Hackathon
BANGKOK, February, 13, 2019 – This week, the USAID Oceans and Fisheries Partnership (USAID Oceans) showcased seafood traceability innovations at a Seafood Traceability “Trackathon” organized by its partner, the Global Dialogue on Seafood Traceability (GDST). The Trackathon, named after its hackathon style approach, convened technology developers from across Southeast Asia to pitch technology solutions for improved regional seafood traceability.
GDST, an international business-to-business platform that advances seafood traceability, designed the Trackathon as an opportunity for leading developers to use real-world supply chain data to inspire feasible and innovative technology solutions. At the event, three teams who pitched solutions to capture, share and convert traceability data to support the region in meeting increasing seafood industry standards and calls for more sustainable fisheries were awarded cash prizes for further tech development.
USAID Oceans led the event’s Data Sharing Challenge, challenging teams to develop solutions that enable traceability data to benefit multiple users—fisheries managers, marine security agencies, customs officials and industry members—and with seamless access where data capture and storage tools are properly linked throughout the complete supply chain. This requires communication between stakeholders along the entire seafood supply chain, including seafood companies, brokers, processors, retailers and supporting technology providers.
“The technology solutions developed over the last 24 hours bring the region closer to traceability systems with reliable, verifiable and high-quality data that can be used by actors along the seafood supply chain to meet industry standards and market demands by enhancing their credibility,” said Susan Roxas, Asia Pacific Lead at GDST. “The solutions, such as the developed blockchain application, also offer business incentives that encourage data exchange beyond just meeting market requirements and complying with regulations.”
Technology developers from across Southeast Asia participated in the Trackathon, including USAID Oceans’ partners from the Philippine Bureau of Fisheries and Aquaculture Resources; Indonesia private sector technology firm, Altermyth; and the IdeaSpace Foundation, a Philippines-based organization who took home the challenge’s first place cash prize.
At the event, USAID Oceans announced its plans to host a Business Innovation Competition in 2019 in Bangkok, Thailand. The competition will welcome technology experts from across the region to pitch business and social solutions to investors and social and technical entrepreneurs to overcome ecological challenges and promote marine conservation. USAID Oceans invited interested parties to register their interest in participating at bit.ly/USAIDOceansBIC.
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ABOUT USAID OCEANS
USAID Oceans is a partnership between USAID and the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center that works to strengthen regional cooperation to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, promote sustainable fisheries, and conserve marine biodiversity in the Asia-Pacific region. The backbone of the program is the development and implementation of financially sustainable electronic catch documentation and traceability systems, supported by data-driven fisheries management and initiatives for responsible, equitable seafood supply chains. For more information, visit www.seafdec-oceanspartnership.org.
Melinda Donnelly, USAID Oceans: Melinda.Donnelly@oceans-partnership.org