PORTLAND, Maine — After eyeing a piece of haddock on the supermarket counter, a customer scans a code and finds out the fish was caught in the waters of Georges Bank and learns the name of the fishing boat — and maybe even sees a picture of the smiling, rain-slickened fisherman who reeled it in. Welcome to the future of buying New England seafood.
A group of scientists and fishermen said the technology isn't about a gimmick so much as survival. They're working on a new tool they say will allow consumers to learn the backstory of a piece of fish while standing in the supermarket aisle with their smartphone.
In an era when many sectors of the New England fishing industry are struggling with depleted resources and choking catch quotas, increasing the cachet of local seafood could be the last, best hope, said Ben Martens, executive director of the Maine Coast Fishermen's Association, one of the groups involved in the "Boat to Plate" project.
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