Founder of Abalobi, Serge Raemakers, learnt about the abundant cultural and culinary heritage by working alongside traditional fishers up and down the South African coast. He realised that by using the powerful tool of mobile interconnectivity, he could not only harvest the knowledge and data from informal fishing fleets, but he could also connect the fisherman with those who most value their catch: chefs.
Responsible sourcing of seafood has been an ongoing discussion among chefs, diners and consumers alike, with all of us becoming more and more aware of the impact that commercial fishing has on our ocean ecosystems. The Abalobi app is Serge’s solution to this problem.
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Fish with a social & ecological story || #fishwithastory … Where does your fish come from? Was it caught responsibly? Who caught it, and how? To tackle this, we’ve taken an #ICT4Fisheries approach #fromhooktocook: for traceable, storied seafood by empowered #smallscalefishers … Five carefully co-designed apps piece together to form our #fromhooktocook system, which enables the processing and marketing of fish and other marine resources with an ecological & social ‘story’ in a manner that is fully traceable along the value chain. The goal? Empowerment in the #valuechain and the development of fisher-community-based #ecolabelling & #sociallabelling. Our app suite allows fishers to supply local and global markets interested in sourcing seafood that is fair, credible and has a low environmental impact. With an integrated mobile payment platform and accounting functionality, the system has the potential to maximise inter-operability with a multitude of #fintech services and tools to facilitate accessible, transparent business development for #smallscalefishers. A key value proposition is that this component allows fisher groups to valorise non-quota, less ‘mainstream’ species towards #communitysupportedfisheries and #restaurantsupportedfisheries. Support local, fresh, quality seafood that is not only ecologically responsible but socially fair! Support small-scale fishers! ???? #localislekker #traceability #responsiblefish #fairfish #smallscalefisheries #fishwithastory #sustainabilty #proudlySouthAfrican #fintech #storiedseafood #slowfish
The app allows small scale fishers to upload their daily catch onto a digital marketplace.They also include information about location and quantity. Chefs have access to this marketplace and put in requests for a few kilos of fish or perhaps even an octopus.
The Abalobi team step in to facilitate the delivery and transportation of the seafood directly to some of South Africa’s best restaurants. Each delivery is accompanied by a unique QR code, that when scanned by your smartphone, will direct you to the Abalobi app. Here you can access information about the fish, when it was caught, by whom, where in South Africa, and even the name of the fishing vessel.
Guests are encouraged to scan the code themselves, so that “linefish” doesn’t just become a basket term for any old fish, but rather the story of the fishers and their catch is transmitted all along the line, directly to your table. The Abalobi website states, “By supporting these fishers, you are contributing to high-impact socio-economic development and the empowerment of fisherfolk…” Now that’s something we can all get behind!
Currently, Abalobi is restricted to most coastal areas of South Africa and Namibia, and is available in a number of restaurants (and many more! )such as:
Chefs Warehouse Beau Constantia
Chefs Warehouse Canteen
Janse and Co
La Motte Wine
Mulberry and Prince
Reverie Social Club
The Pot Luck Club
The Shortmarket Club
The Test Kitchen
Tjing Tjing Bar
You can follow the Abalobi app story on Instagram, where they regularly feature the catch of the day and restaurants that are serving up their produce.