Around the globe seafood buyers cannot be sure what species they are actually getting when they are shopping for fish. This leads to unsustainable fishing. Fish fillets are hard to identify for a normal consumer since expert knowledge is needed to separate between what might be a fish that is safe to consume and one that is endangered. Also, there is widespread mislabeling and seafood fraud in certain markets. Customers might also be mislead into paying a higher price for a "cheap" species.
So What can be done?
Our mobile app Fillet Finder is the solution to all these problems:
We have developed an app that lets you find out what kind of species a fillet is from by guiding the user though steps in a user friendly icon based decision tree, so that the user can identify what species he is looking at. The app gives the user access to a list of edible fish with key information and conservation status etc. The only equipment you need is a smartphone.
We've identified ways to specify properties of fish fillets that are used in our app to separate between species. Properties like region, freshness, color, muscle segment thickness etc. are key separating properties we are using and which we found by doing research in the available material provided by MarViva.
The typical users of the app are: Maria, who is a fish customer in Colombia who are not sure what she is buying and she is also curious about how different fillets differ between species.
Jose, who is a government inspector in Panama who regularly goes to fish markets to verify that the species sold are correctly labeled and that no endangered species are sold.
Both these users can benefit from our quick up to date and interactive solution which makes identification it easier, than by carrying around books or using pdf guides. Our decision tree can make Jose do his job a lot quicker for example.
If our users, Jose and Maria, are not able to find out what kind of species the fillet belongs to with our app - they have the option to send a picture with geodata etc. to an expert though the app, and the expert can identify the species and add it to the system. IF the species is endangered or blacklisted, the expert can contact the authorities and provide all the information supplied by the user.
To make this app happen, which we partly already have done, we will need more information for identification purposes, translation of the interface, a fish expert to validate our decision tree and experts that are willing to participate.
We are happy with our current functionality, but to bring the project to the next level we would like to implement an easy to use admin panel for adding fish, the picture to expert functionality, localization, additional steps in our decision tree and additional information about the species.
We really think our app can make an impact on unsustainable fishing by empowering the consumers to make the right decision.