Thousands of crate moves, grade transformations and packing orders are automated and accounted for in real time with Sedna’s RFID Inventory System
Lobster is by far the most valuable Canadian Seafood Export, but currently the industry has high levels of waste in both time and resources.
Harvested out of the ocean, lobster is accounted for at the dock level. Most players in the fisheries industry currently record on paper first and then manually enter that information into a spreadsheet. This is a tedious process that results in high levels of human error. Where data is only processed periodically; it creates a gap in information.
Nova Scotia has recognized this and is upping its game on lobster quality standards.
An internationally recognized quality standard for holding lobsters in Nova Scotia will be among the new regulations for the recently amended provincial Fisheries and Coastal Resources Act. Minister of Agriculture and Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Keith Colwell said in a recent artice with the Chronicle Herald: “The goal is to determine where our member companies can make technology improvements that will maintain and enhance product quality and address efficiency and labor short falls.”
Born here in Nova Scotia with a background in commercial fisheries and fisheries resource management, co-founders Aleksandr Stabenow and Sheamus MacDonald saw an opportunity to help modernize the seafood industry. Sedna aims to increase product integrity, enable proper inventory management systems and decrease losses due to mortality, misplaced product and waste. Inventory management is so important, especially when you’re looking to get consistent, quality product to market.The company recently developed an RFID inventory management system catered specifically to helping lobster pounds improve traceability and enhance product quality of live lobsters.
Sedna’s RFID Shop Floor Inventory Management System
The Sedna module provides crate level traceability and will indicate when and where your products are in real-time, their volumes, locations as well as provide a complete digital history of the movement of your products.
How does it work?
Rather than recording information on paper, information is inputted directly through Sedna’s mobile app. RFID tags are scanned and placed on individual crates of lobsters.
The information feeds into a centralized database which can be viewed by the administrative staff through various reports and dashboards. The data is automatically uploaded to the office in real time, eliminating the need to reconcile paperwork.
Ability to track inventory in, internal movement and inventory out
Track volumes of inventory in each individual tank at any given time
Logging of historical data and circumstances
Crate level traceability of graded versus ungraded levels of inventory
Improved back office shipping and sales functions.
Cloud based system provides access anytime, anywhere!
Here is an informative step-by-step breakdown of our easy to use application
The Sedna system increases the transparency of your supply chain and eliminates waste. It documents and provides valuable business intelligence on the quality of your products from each harvester Sedna Technologies is playing a huge role in helping Atlantic Canada become leaders in oceans technology.
There has been much buzz surrounding Nova Scotia’s ocean technology sector. Ocean related industries generate approximately $4.5 billion, or 12.2 per cent of the provincial GDP. These industries are comprised of hundreds of companies, with dozens using innovative technology to come up with new solutions to many of common problems.
In a recent interview, Aleksandr Stabenow, co-founder and chief technology officer of Sedna Technologies, explained how his company has been disrupting the local seafood industry with new technology.
Since its beginnings in 2017, Sedna has been pioneering a new approach to tracking, tracing and monitoring seafood, “from catch to plate.”
From harvester to consumer, Sedna provides applications for everyone in the supply chain. As Stabenow explains: “As lobster fisherman are building bigger boats to go out farther and longer, the risk is higher, because if one of the pumps goes on one of the live wells, it can starve the lobsters of water.”
Sedna’s sensors monitors temperature and dissolved oxygen and sends that realtime information to the fishermen’s cell phone or onboard computer, notifying them if the dissolved oxygen in the live well starts to drop. In that way, the fishermen become aware of the situation and intervene, before it turns deadly to the catch.
“We’ve had examples of guys who hold 9,000 pounds of lobster and have lost the entire shipment because they didn’t know there was an issue in their live well” This is not only a substantial financial loss for the fishermen, but a huge waste of product which then are no longer good for consumption. With Sedna’s technology, financial and product loss due to adverse conditions in the live wells will become non-existent. [Text Wrapping Break] Back on land, food distributors are buying the product directly from fishermen, and according to Stabenow, these transactions have traditionally been recorded with pen and paper directly on the dock.
“How it works is that a fisherman arrives with product, and paper receipts get written up and exchanged between buyer and seller,” said Stabenow. “We’ve digitized that process.”
Sedna’s digitization process involves a simple mobile application with a handheld machine that is submersible in up to 2.5 meters of water. They punch in the weight, punch in the harvester and print off an inkless thermal receipt of the information allowing for the information to be captured faster and in a format that holds up much better than a piece of paper, given the harsh weather conditions of the North Atlantic.
“A lot of technology that has been tried in the North Atlantic fisheries industry hasn’t been durable,” said Stabenow. “So far, no one else has been able to cater the technology specifically to the fisheries industry.”
According to Stabenow, his application has allowed dockside workers to record their daily purchases quicker and more accurately than the traditional method, shaving hours off the process.
When asked about how his company has been disrupting the local seafood industry Stabenow smiles and says, “the main way we’re disrupting the seafood space is we’re bringing technology to an industry that has never really been susceptible to it. The only real technology that’s been brought into the industry before this is legacy systems – accounting software that’s 20 years old. What we’re doing is modernizing the industry with technology and that’s something that people haven’t really been able to do before.”
Now, as many rural Nova Scotians are aware, fishermen can be a stubborn bunch. Often set in their ways and steeped in tradition, I asked how Sedna’s products and services have been received by the men and women who make a living battling some of the world’s worst weather conditions.
“It’s been received really well. What sets us apart is we do the groundwork. I’m local, my partner is a fisherman from Cape Breton and we drive down the coast and go door-to-door introducing people to our technology and walking them through it. That’s a large reason why we’ve been able to penetrate the market here in the Maritimes. “
With over 60 clients after one year in market, it’s clear that their approach with the locals has been working.[Text Wrapping Break] The subject frequently on people’s mind these days is the environment. As we are experiencing more intense storms, higher sea levels, and extreme temperatures, the sustainability of the seafood industry and the impact it is having on our ecosystems and climate definitely comes into focus. So what impact does Sedna’s technology have on the ability of the seafood industry to meet the challenges of the climate emergency? “We’re saving time, increasing efficiencies and decreasing waste,” Stabenow replies. In addition to ensuring fishermen don’t lose their catch due to inadequate water quality in the live wells on board their boats, Sedna’s technology is also being used for a similar purpose in dockside fish plants — constantly monitoring the water quality of tanks with live product in them.
There are spin-off benefits of the technology as well.
“The refrigeration systems are constantly calibrated for the temperature of the water and because we’re getting a more accurate readings of what the real time temperature of the water is, the company is requiring less energy to maintain its operation,” explains Stabenow. “There are guys who service these tanks and are used to sending a truck to check on the tanks and now they don’t need to, so we’re saving that gas as well, which means less emissions.”
Stabenow is hopeful that his technology will help with the sustainability of the seafood industry, which provides for so much of Nova Scotia’s rural economies.
“At a basic level, all the benefits of this technology – saving time, saving energy, saving money — increase the industry’s bottom line right away. Where does that go? Directly into the rural economies of Nova Scotia.”
Author bio: Spontaneous traveller, Atlantic Canada enthusiast, lover of all things marine.
How Victoria Co-op is Setting a New Standard for the Seafood Industry
Sedna Technologies is a fisheries technology firm working with Victoria Co-op to improve inventory management and traceability. In this article we are going to discuss our work with RFID technology, our payroll and accounting ecosystem and our network of autonomous sensors.
To give you a background on the organization,Victoria Co-op is a forward-thinking co-operative that purchases locally harvested seafood from its’ members. Once processed, the products are shipped worldwide to many customers located in Japan, Vietnam, Singapore, Taiwan, Malaysia, Europe and China. They also ship a significant amount of product within Canada and to the USA. Victoria Co-op Fisheries is the only active lobster processing facility on Cape Breton Island.
127 harvester members work within the co-op to supply lobsters and other seafood to the Victoria Co-op ecosystem. Using Sedna’s RFID inventory management and automated payroll system, Victoria Co-op is setting a new standard for the Seafood Industry.
What is RFID technology and how is it being used to track Iive lobster?
An RFID tag is used to replace barcodes and automate inventory management. This is accomplished through the magic of radio frequency signals, which allow items to be scanned in bulk rather than each barcode individually. Think about a group of marathon runners all passing the finish line at the same time – the gateway can scan all of the runners at once, and link each runner with their individual time and information.
In the case of Victoria Co-op, RFID tags are uniquely identified and placed on lobster crates at the dock. Rather than manually recording data on paper, the information is entered through a handheld device.
This step adds value to their process in two really important ways:
Firstly, It eliminates manually writing receipts to each harvester. We geared up the dockside operators with wireless printers. With the click of one button the receipt is printed and the harvesters are on their way. Secondly, The information is automatically uploaded to a cloud database. This means that workers in the head office have access to this information in real time and can better plan for production and payroll functions.
After the lobsters are collected from the seven dockside locations, they all feed into one plant. At this location, they were finding dead lobsters within a few days of being purchased. This means that after only a few days of being caught, lobster mortality was alarmingly high.
“With RFID inventory management, we were able to scan the tags on the crates and pinpoint it back to a specific harvester within seconds.” -Osborne Burke, General Manager
Traditionally, the death of a lobster cannot be established and a loss is simply accepted. Because of our technology, the core issue was identified and acted on, and new standard operating procedures were created to alleviate future loss to profits.
“We need to modernize our payroll to grow in the right direction” –Pauline Rogers, Payroll Manager
Imagine lobsters from Harvester A arrive at Dockside B at 9am, but the paperwork for this transaction doesn’t arrive at the office until 4pm. What if something happened to these lobsters at 11am? 1pm? When data is not available in real-time, it generates a gap in information. With this type of system, you end up accepting losses because there is a lack of traceability and accountability. With our inventory management platform and RFID technology, we are streamlining processes and creating faster and more efficient work procedures.
At the Co-op, the team normally spends countless hours (sometimes days!) reconciling paper slips from the dock – This process was totally eliminated with the Sedna ecosystem. Inputting data at the dockside through a handheld device means that the head office has access to this information in real time. Rather than waiting on paperwork to reach the office, payroll and accounting operations can happen immediately. We also worked alongside their staff to further customize their accounting and payroll operations to allow digital collaboration and eliminate more paper trails.
Autonomous Sensor Network
Sedna’s Cold Chain Monitoring automates processes using wireless transmission of data into real-time reports and downloadable spreadsheets.
At Victoria co-op, trips to the freezers and fridges were a daily task for several operators. In the middle of the winter, someone was tasked with physically leaving their home to visually check the temperature of the freezer. Through our software, this information is continuously monitored and the data can be accessed at all times from a phone, tablet or computer.
Temperatures in the transport trucks must also be logged when sending product to foreign markets like the U.S. This was previously accomplished with USB data loggers which required tedious steps to complete the report:
1. Collect data loggers
2. Plug data logger into a computer
3. Upload PDF
4. Type or write data into spreadsheet
5. Execute FDA (U.S Food and Drug Administration) report
Our sensors have automated this inefficient process and reduced labour hours.
“Sedna sensor networks save us time, fuel and eliminate paperwork for regulators.” -Osborne Burke , General Manager
The Co-op uses our water quality sensors to monitor pH, temperature, NH3 and NH4 in their holding tanks. It provides the ability to view the critical parameters of the water quality in real-time from your electronic device. It is also equipped with notification services that indicate when parameters are trending towards thresholds or breach parameters.
Eliminating this paper trail system has decreased human error and increased accuracy. It has allowed data to be shared instantly within the organization, streamlining payroll operations and creating transparency throughout the supply chain.
Increasing efficiencies or increasing value is the only way to survive the seafood industry of the future
Sedna Technologies has been future proofing the seafood supply chain over the last year. We have collected data on where the industry is headed, and what the highest value marketplaces are demanding. We have met with harvesters, exporters, importers and the biggest e-commerce giants on the planet who have indicated the future of the seafood industry. In this quick snapshot review of our year, I will discuss the current state of the lobster industry, our work, and what the largest E-commerce giants on the planet have in store for us.
Let’s start with what’s going on here at home in Nova Scotia. Prices at the dock are high and don’t show any signs of going down. This means that buyers, processors and exporters need to be strategic and adaptable to changing prices.
Live lobsters move through many different levels of the supply chain to reach your plate. Most fisheries operations are using outdated, paper trail systems. Our current seafood supply chain is riddled with inefficiencies, and must be improved to meet a growing demand. Sedna has identified non-value added areas and created a variety of software solutions to help save time and money throughout the seafood supply chain.
Technology powered quality control is how I would describe what Sedna has been able to accomplish with our clients. Our water monitoring system is helping improve quality control in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Maine, P.E.I and Newfoundland.
Currently, most lobster pounds do manual water tests that lead to inaccurate and inconsistent readings. Monitoring water quality with our system allows operators to track water quality in real time, indicating if parameters are trending upwards or downwards. This enables our clients to operate in a preventive manner, mitigating loss before it occurs. Let’s not forget prices at the docks are 10$ a pound! This means the cost of one crate of lobsters is 1000$! It is essential that lobsters are monitored and kept in optimal conditions, to reduce loss and lower mortality rates.
Another way that Sedna is improving quality control is through our RFID traceability and inventory management system. RFID tags are placed on lobster crates at the dock. Their information can be scanned throughout their journey, identifying critical parameters such as harvester, location, weight and time.
So what does this mean? Consider how many resources are required for catching, transporting, holding, buying, selling, importing and exporting live lobsters. It is essential that we improve the quality of our handling to optimize the supply chain and lower the mortality percentage of lobsters. Sedna’s traceability ecosystem is creating new efficiencies and preventing loss in the live lobster industry, which is so essential to our economy in Atlantic Canada.
In one case, our client was experiencing dead lobsters in their pound. They had purchased lobsters dockside from harvesters, and transported them to their holding facilities. Within a matter of days, some of the lobsters were dying. With our RFID traceability, the tags were scanned and the product was traced back to a specific harvester within seconds. Traditionally, the mortality of a lobster cannot be traced and a loss is simply accepted. Because of our technology, the core issue was identified and acted on, as new standard operating procedures were created to alleviate future problems.
A hot topic in the seafood industry is China’s growing demand for all varieties of seafood. But what does that mean for companies here in Nova Scotia? To get an idea, my co-founder, Sheamus Macdonald and I met with one of the biggest companies on the planet.
Chinese e-commerce giant Ali-baba is allowing Asia to order anything online, but they aren’t stopping there… Ali-baba has launched a high end chain of grocery stores which makes Whole Foods look like a small convenience store.
At Hema you can buy live seafood products from all over the world. You not only have access to them, you can get the products delivered directly to your front door.
During a recent visit to Halifax to meet and inform companies of their business model, Hema requested to meet with Sedna Technologies specifically. During this meeting there were many topics discussed, ranging anywhere from how our technology works, to lobster drone delivery. The main takeaway from the meeting is that the future of seafood isn’t coming, it’s here now. Hema has strict requirements coming down the pipeline and suppliers are going to have to prove product freshness and quality of holding conditions. It will enforce standards of providing data on origin and amount of time product has been held.
In addition to Hema, Sedna has been approached by a larger importer who is requiring all their live lobster suppliers to operate their facilities with Sedna Water quality sensors.
Both these examples combined are driving the point home, if seafood companies want to compete in the modern day market place, they need Sedna Technologies.
The future of seafood isn’t coming, it is here now.
Woods Harbour Lobster is a long-standing name in the live lobster industry, internationally renowned for attention to quality and sustainability.
When managing millions of pounds of Atlantic Canada’s most precious resource, It’s important to ensure holding and shipping conditions are pristine.
Four months ago Sedna Technologies water quality monitoring sensor and software were installed at one of the main holding tanks. One of these tanks can have 100’s of thousands of pounds of lobster in it at any given time. Lobsters immediate health as well as future quality can be affected by exposure to things like ammonia levels from some dead lobsters or excrement in the tank.
Sednas water quality module takes several readings per hour, This means accuracy is increased over time and healthy water quality baselines are established. From these baselines, they were able to note when issues arise in the tank “ With Sednas app, We can see when the ammonia begins to go up, this allows us to find issues before larger problems or loss occurs ”
Privacy & Cookies Policy
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.
Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website.