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Oct 22, 2021

Fish Right, Eat Right—Catch to Kitchen App Test Piloted

Oceana Belize is piloting its “Fish Right, Eat Right” initiative in San Pedro. The technology allows for restaurateurs to track their fish purchase, from catch to kitchen. It is Oceana’s intent to encourage fishers to practice more sustainable ways of fishing. Currently, ten fisher folk are using the application, with some twenty five restaurants on San Pedro being trained to use the technology. News Five’s Paul Lopez visited San Pedro today to learn more.


Paul Lopez, Reporting

Rarely do consumers of fin fish products question where their fish comes from, or ask if it was caught using a sustainable method.  So, why should we care about these tidbits of information? According to Oceana Belize, it makes the world of difference.


Jacinta Gomez

Jacinta Gomez, Outreach Project Director, Oceana Belize

“So the Idea is that you want to know that the fish you are eating is one that is caught responsibly. It is not caught with gear that will contribute to more overfishing. It is a fish that isn’t protected. And you really want to just ensure that you are being a responsible consumer, then impacting the fishers, because if we demand better, they will provide what we demand.”


Oceana Belize is revolutionizing the way we eat fish at our local restaurants. To find out more we visited Elvi’s Kitchen on the Island of San Pedro.


Jacinta Gomez

“Today is our fish fillet. We have a choice of snapper or grouper. Different styles that we can prepare the snapper or grouper, on our menu, our famous coconut cream our creamy garlic butter sauce.”


The creamy garlic butter sauce grouper fillet sounded too good to resist. While my order went into the kitchen for preparation, I learned more about Oceana Belize’s fish right eat right initiative.


Jacinta Gomez

“We are here to talk about something that we as Belizeans all love, fish. Whether it is fish soup, fry fish, has fish, we all want it fresh. And, that is what we advertise in Belize to locals and tourist alike. When we say catch of the day, we are talking about fish. And more and more, consumers want to know where there fish are coming from, and that includes our sea food. Who caught it? What area is it coming from?”


And that is the idea with which the initiative was birthed, to make a direct connection between restaurants and fishers that are fishing responsibly. The technology is being provided by a company called Shell Catch. It incorporates three components, e-monitoring, e-reporting, e-marketing.  Here is how it works from catch to kitchen, courtesy a video provided to us by Oceana Belize.



Morning B! Ready fuh full deh box?”


Josh Marin

Josh Marin, Fisher Man

“Yeah man just grab the rope and I wah put on the camera…Each and every time we go out, we have to find further grounds. So, when I heard about the program, I found it as a very good business opportunity. Other fishermen when they go out, they tend to bring in anything and everything. That is what me and my crew don’t do. We practice responsible fishing.”



“Show me how the app work G.”


Josh Marin

“Easy thing, we will put in how much fish wih have. Today we get fifteen pound of champagne and thirty pounds of queens. Punch that in and that’s all. One more thing.”


Connecting responsible fishers directly to restaurant chefs like Jennie Staines at Elvi’s Kitchen has solved sourcing and quality issues. Chef Staines serves up to a hundred plates of fin fish  per week, which means her demand for fresh quality fish is high.


Jennie Staines

Jennie Staines, Chef, Elvi’s Kitchen

“Starting out we had to call Belize City, sometimes go to Pound Yard Bridge, wait til from three o’clock til five because you have to come back home. Sometimes you have to spend the overnight in Belize City, or try to source from people in Sartaneja.”


Paul Lopez

So it solves your sourcing problem. But, how interested are you in also knowing where your fish comes from, where it is caught?”


Jennie Staines

“That is the beauty of it now, commercial fishermen that the program got into from San Pedro. Now, we just have to call them a few weeks before, tell them the amount of fish we want. And, they will go out, fish; we will know exactly what they are catching, because they have their cameras. And, we will know from they are out at sea, what we will be getting.”


And, lunch is served.


Pau Lopez

“What I have here is some fish, garlic butter, a bit of potato salad, what some plantains and coconut rice. What I am about to do is scan the app, and what this app is telling me is that my grouper came from a fisherman named Jose Marin. His port is right here in San Pedro. This showing me how Jose caught the fish, where he caught the fish, since he has this camera installed. So, it’s an innovative way of that dining, all brought to us by Oceana and Elvi’s kitchen. But all of that doesn’t matter if the food doesn’t taste good.  Alright, traceable grouper, mmm, so good.”


Currently the app only allows for fishermen to market their products to restaurateurs. But soon enough, as interest grows, the regular consumer, like you and I, who visit the fish market will be able to access these services.

Reporting for News Five, I am Paul Lopez.

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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