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Feb 8, 2019

TALLY System: Transitioning to Traceability

The National Fishermen Cooperative and the Nature Conservancy, along with support from the government, today presented the Tally, an electronic seafood traceability system. Stakeholders of the industry believe that through the Tally System, Belize can build resilience to threats caused by climate change and illegal fishing and promote food security in our region. News Five’s Hipolito Novelo found out how today. 


Hipolito Novelo, Reporting

The staff at the National Fishers Cooperative, the second largest cooperative in the country, is now using tablets to electronically track all the conch and lobster that are brought to the plant. It’s transitioning to traceability.


Godwin Hulse

Godwin Hulse, Minister of Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment, and Sustainable Development

“Traceability, the ability to trace, from its inception to your table. That is the concept.”


Staffers are collecting real-time data that links fishers and managed access regions across the country through TALLY- a user-friendly software application which speeds up reporting, strengthens traceability, and improves inventory.


Godwin Hulse

“This is not only good news. This is great news because we are leading the process in the region. We are leading this process in a very sustainable, management and the big word we like to throw around in Belize, transparent manner.”


According to Plant Manager, Eden Leon, TALLY enables staffers to save time and avoid errors. He says that this is the first time that they can see what individual fishers have caught, where they’ve caught it, how much was caught and how it was caught.


Eden Leon, Plant Manager

“So if a fisherman comes in illegally and he does not have a license to fisher under area number two and number three then he can be liable to face offenses. And then, of course, the fishing methods, and the fishing days that they had spent out at sea.”


The fishing sector in Belize has regularly comes under threats due to the effects of climate change and illegal fishing. These threats negatively impact ecosystems and the economy. In the last six years, the Fishers Department along with its partners such as the Nature Conservancy decided to embark on strengthening its sustainable seafood strategy in Belize.


Beverly Wade

Beverly Wade, Fisheries Administrator

“A big part of this that we have done was to look at some keys things: how do we look at overall sustainability of our resource, how do we ensure that livelihoods are secured from that resource and thirdly, how do we ensure at the end of the day that Belize continuous to get value from its natural resources.”


According to Fisheries Administrator, Beverly Wade, traceability is becoming a requirement. She says that all the new markets are now putting into place requirements of traceability. Sooner or later, it will become a legal requirement. Chairperson of the National Fisherman Cooperative, Paulino Rodriguez, agrees that Belize has to have traceability systems in place.


Paulino Rodriguez

Paulino Rodriguez, Chairperson, National Fisherman Cooperative

“We know that with the TALLY system, that will increase efficiency and time management. It will better our accountability and transparency, prepare for market demands and fishers stock declines. International markets are calling for ever more stringent policies. We have to ready for that including traceability. At national we wanted to be proactive and not reactive and prepare for these changes. With the help with the Nature Conservancy, we are able to do that.”


Julie Robinson

Julie Robinson, Belize Oceans Strategy Lead, The Nature Conservancy

“This system will be linked directly to the Fisheries management database for them to be able to tell exactly what is happening in each and every managed access zone. And so they can manage it more efficiently so that we can ensure that we have a sustainability fishery in perpetuity”


Hipolito Novelo, News Five.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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