February 22, 2021
Food safety, traceability and sustainability practices are the cornerstones of British Columbia’s (B.C.) seafood sector and have earned the province an international reputation for safe, sustainable and high-quality seafood products. British Columbia has recognized the value of its abundant natural seafood resources for a long time, with organizations including the BC Seafood Alliance, which has been advocating for a profitable and sustainable seafood industry since 1999. Most recently, ThisFish Inc. has emerged on the scene to provide a user-friendly, data-driven solution to reduce costs and improve efficiencies in the industry.
ThisFish Inc.’s mission is to improve profits and sustainability in the seafood industry through digitization, traceability and innovation. ThisFish is a seafood traceability and workflow software that reduces costs, strengthens process control and improves compliance in global supply chains.
The team won the THRIVE Canada Challenge, beating out eight other top agritech start-ups from throughout Canada as the best start-up for investment and global recognition. More than 90 Canadian start-ups applied to the competition. The Challenge helps identify and accelerate early-stage Canadian start-ups that are creating paths for a more efficient and sustainable global food system. As the Challenge winner, ThisFish Inc. will receive USD $15,000 in travel expenses to participate in a Silicon Valley Startup Bootcamp, an invitation to pitch at the THRIVE VII Accelerator Finals and automatic acceptance as a Samsung Extreme Tech Challenge (XTC) finalist.
ThisFish Inc. is also incorporating artificial intelligence into its software. It is working with industry partners and research universities to produce AI-enabled apps to support predictive analytics and process automation.
Sustainability is a natural by-product of improved efficiency. Tracking software such as ThisFish leads to reduced waste and improved yields that ripple out into more efficient transportation and other associated systems, which means less impact on the environment.
The Marine Stewardship Council recognizes three overarching principles that every fishery must meet to be considered sustainable: harvest levels that allow the fish population to continue; fishing operations that maintain the health and diversity of the ecosystem; accordance with all laws and regulations for ensuring sustainable fishing practices.
British Columbia is inclusive and welcoming to immigrants and new residents and focussed on reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, and ThisFish Inc. has thrived in this business culture. The seafood industry is one of the major sectors of the Indigenous economy in the province, with organizations including the First Nations Fisheries Council dedicated to the continued strength of the industry. Currently, three of ThisFish Inc.’scustomers are Indigenous-owned seafood businesses.
ThisFish gained a broad international market early in its development – a success that reflects the diversity of their company culture. Of 10 direct employees, nine are originally from countries other than Canada.
Recent and historical events have proven the value of contact tracing. When COVID-19 first hit British Columbia, one of the first acts of the government was to implement contact tracing measures. We know that tracking a virus to its source can help limit infection and allow early intervention actions that reduce severity. In the food industry, we have learned the same lesson from mad cow disease, avian flu and swine flu. Those viruses led to improved tracing and controls in the production of beef, poultry and pork.
The B.C. government is supporting traceability as a public health measure and to help businesses run efficiently.
Learn more about how B.C. technology is improving natural resources industries in BC and around the globe. Contact a Trade and Invest BC representative near you. Follow Trade and Invest British Columbia on LinkedIn or Twitter for regular updates.
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