A Canadian group is pioneering a high-tech web system that allows diners around the world to track their seafood back to the person who caught it.
Participating fishermen tag their catch and the information is entered intoThisfish.info.
Earlier this week, Nova Scotian Gordon Beaton caught a lobster in the Northumberland Strait, tagged it and sold it on. A couple of days later, Toronto diner Lynn Patterson ordered lobster at the Royal York Hotel.
She pulled out her iPad, went to Thisfish and entered the code.
"It's coming up," she said as the site tracked the lobster. "[It] tells us what it is, of course, an Atlantic lobster. Who caught it — a guy called Gordon Beaton! Caught in the Northumberland Strait two days ago. Fresh, fresh, fresh!"
Beaton was pleased to learn his lobster's final destination.
"Well that's good. I'm glad it made it to such a good place," he said.
Beaton said he and the customers like the new connection.
"Eggs come in a box and meat comes in a little tray, and you don't get a chance to see where it actually comes from," he said.
In the past month, Beaton's lobsters have been traced from across Canada and the U.S., Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy, Singapore and Japan.
"They can get there on their iPhone or their Blackberry and sit there with the tag and say, 'Hey, look at that — it came from Ballantyne's Cove.' These are the guys putting their days in trying to produce the food for people."
The non-profit Ecotrust Canada developed ThisFish tracking system.
It hopes to educate consumers about where seafood comes from and eventually steer them toward more sustainable choices.