Have you ever looked at an oyster and thought it was high tech? Well, it's happening.
The latest electronic technology is being applied to following that oyster—on the half shell, in a po-boy, or in some sumptuous seafood gumbo—from the Gulf of Mexico to your table.
To ensure top quality, the well-developed process of manually paper tagging oysters harvested in the Gulf is being upgraded with new electronic technology to provide more efficient data-based information. Added benefits include reduced costs and compliance with new Federal and State regulations.
The Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission's Oil Disaster Recovery Program's Ad-hoc Committee has approved an exploratory phase of a project to begin designing a voluntary pilot solution, working with a global seafood traceability company called Trace Register.
Trace Register will work closely with the regional industry to undertake a detailed analysis of the current systems. The results will then be used to design a new electronic tagging method using cutting edge technology to track oysters step-by-step to the end point-of-sale.
The proposed system will be designed and available for all Gulf oyster businesses, both large and small, and will deliver vital information about the authenticity, quality, and safety of Gulf oysters to buyers and consumers.
If the project is approved, the next step will include running a pilot of the new system with a representative group of businesses through the entire supply chain of harvesters, dealers, processors, shippers, distributors, grocers, and restaurants.
"Fresh oysters from the Gulf are an exceptional delicacy that can benefit from an enhanced electronic traceability system for a variety of reasons," says Alex Miller of GSMFC. "The leaders of the Gulf oyster industry understand the importance of this effort, and they are eager to participate."
The GSMFC seeks to conserve, develop, and fully utilize the fishery resources of the Gulf of Mexico in order to provide food, employment, income, and recreation to the people of these United States.
Source: Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission