Funded by PRIMA (Partnership for Research and Innovation in the Mediterranean Area) Program – an initiative supported and financed under the Horizon 2020 – SUREFISH (www.surefish.eu) is an Innovative project aiming at guaranteeing the traceability and authenticity of the Mediterranean fish. Started on 1st March 2020, SUREFISH brings together public and private organisations across the Mediterranean area to perform collaborative R&D is strategic for the interdisciplinary approach for fish sector innovation in a 36-month period.
The SUREFISH consortium is made up of 13 partners from both shores of the Mediterranean (EU countries: Italy, Spain; non-EU: Tunisia, Egypt, and Lebanon). The SUREFISH team constitutes a strategic integrated Mediterranean eco-system that unites knowledge, expertise, services and industry value chain to succeed in delivering a complete solution to assure fish authentication and reduce fraud based on RFID, Blockchain, TTI and tamper-proof technologies as well as to harmonize and validate related analytical methods and create a trans-national laboratories network.
SUREFISH counts on a solid scientific presence covering all relevant fields (UNINA, CNTA, ITENE, INSTM, CLAR, AUB), combined with strong business and commercial involvement in the project with 4 fish SMEs (DIDON MAREE, FISHBASKET, SOFIA and BALFEGO, participating in the 4 pilot use cases); an ICT company (INGE), an industry association (ANFACO-CECOPESCA) and a food association (SLOW FOOD). Importantly, the coordinator (ENCO), expert in exploitation will ensure a business-driven focus to the project.
In short, this is a complete storyboard of actors to provide a solution against fraud that occurs along the fish supply chain. One of the key components of Mediterranean diet is fish, which contributes to a healthy and balanced diet since it is rich in protein, vitamins and minerals. Fish chain is particularly vulnerable to fraud, primarily to species substitution and mislabelling. The consequent incorrect labelling of the fish itself brings to a low confidence on Mediterranean fish products.
With a total budget of around 2 million euros, SUREFISH will contribute to enhance the consumer confidence on traditional Mediterranean fish by renewing the production and distribution process of these products.
To this end, innovative solutions will be implemented to obtain unequivocal traceability required in order to confirm the authenticity of Mediterranean fish products, thus preventing fraud.
Four pilot cases are planned between the different partner countries of the project: i) Tunisia (main test) on fresh and marinated anchovies; ii) Egypt on fresh farmed tilapia fillets; iii) Lebanon on fresh groupers; iv) Spain on Bluefin tuna.
Pragmatically consumers will be provided a mobile APP for smartphones to obtain information concerning to traceability and authenticity of fish they consume, which will positively impact on the recovery of consumer confidence in the Mediterranean fish sector.