Environment

New app can establish the species of fish customers are interested in buying

New app can establish the species of fish customers are interested in buying

2021-10-23 05:43:00 PM

New app can establish the species of fish customers are interested in buying

The FishID app helps customers identify the fish and whether it is on the endangered species list

ShareCape Town - Seafood lovers, fishers, divers and chefs who believe in sustainable food production are in for a treat this summer.The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) has launched its South African Sustainable Seafood Initiative (SASSI) FishID app, to coincide with Marine Month.

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This app uses the latest facial recognition technology and neural networks to enable users to submit pictures of the fish, in order to establish the species that customers are most interested in buying.The app also identifies a limited list of around 50 fish species and a history of the species that have previously been identified as desirable, for future reference. Some of these include: angelfish, blacktail, dorado, hake, kingklip, red rum, sawfish, sprat, tuna and yellowtail.

The manager of the WWF-SASSI programme and environmental behaviour change practitioner, Pavitray Pillay, said: “With the increased use of digital devices such as smartphones and applications, using technologically innovative mechanisms to enhance and increase marine conservation awareness and influence pro-environmental decision making, is pivotal in the environmental sector.” headtopics.com

Misinformation of seafood can cause issues which present a challenge to customers in terms of knowing what they are buying and eating.Pillay said consumers should ask three questions about their seafood: what is it?, how was it caught/farmed? and where is it from?

“Then consult with the SASSI app to check the sustainability of their seafood choice in real time. The SASSI list is based on best available science and is presented as a traffic light system to inform consumers on the ecological sustainability of the species of a fish ie: is it green (best choice), orange (think twice) or red (don’t buy). Here consumers and chefs alike can find out whether to tuck in, think twice or avoid altogether. This app underpins the SASSI consumer awareness programme, in order to drive behaviour change and has seen over 25 000 downloads to date.”

The FishID app is lifestyle linked so chefs, seafood lovers, divers and fishers can benefit from knowing their fish and being able to make the right choices.“The more images that are submitted for identification on the app, the more accurate the app becomes. The app will continuously improve in accuracy as more people use it and their scanned images are included in the database. This is a citizen science approach to conservation that is for and by the users and enables the public to be part of ocean conservation, safeguarding the marine resources for now and future generations,” Pillay added.

Chef and culinary consultant, Zana Alvarado, said when shopping for seafood, the app provides data at one's fingertips.“All that's required is to take a photograph of the whole fish (head and tail included), and upload the photo to the app. It literally takes a matter of seconds for the app to identify the fish, based on body shape and physical characteristics The app then provides vital info on what species of fish it is, and whether it is on the green, orange or endangered list, indicating whether to purchase or refrain. This app is a must have for industry professionals and seafood consumers,” she said. headtopics.com

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The FishID app can be downloaded from android and iOS on the Google Play Store and App Store respectively. Read more: IOL News »

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