The world is in the midst of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, where rapid progress is being made through financial and technological innovations. Rapidly scalable and cost effective solutions could lie in the ocean fintech space.
Nishan Degnarain’s Open-Source Blockchain tool, backed up with a variant of the Kimberley Process focused on tuna traceability, promises to solve data-integrity issues involved in promoting sustainable tuna production. The blockchain’s secure distributed-ledger technology could yield several new financial innovations and be rapidly scaled to other maritime areas.
This Tuna Blockchain will ensure greater value is captured by resource-owning countries, facilitate instant social audits of fishery labour conditions, fairer payment terms to supply-chain actors, and the creation of marine protected areas whose status can be instantly enforced.
Given the size of the tuna supply chain, which is worth $40 billion in retail value, its global scale and the critical role that the main tuna species play in marine ecosystems, tuna is the natural starting point for the application of a traceability blockchain that could be expanded to other seafood products.
Nishan Degnarain is an economist who holds degrees in international development from the University of Cambridge and from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. He was formerly a management consultant with McKinsey and Company, and then an advisor to the government of Mauritius on economic strategy and oceans. He is currently a member of the National Ocean Council of Mauritius and the monetary policy committee of the Central Bank of Mauritius.
Between 2013 and 2016, Mr Degnarain was the chair of the World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Agenda Council on Oceans. He was recognised for his role in formulating new economic growth models as a Young Global Leader of the WEF in 2013. He is currently a special advisor to the WEF on oceans and new technologies.
There's a library of videos and other resources on this year's event, and past events, at this site.
Next year it will be in Mexico.