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KnowSeafood Creates the First Online Sustainable Seafood Market for Home Chefs

Company gives consumers a direct connection to fishermen around the globe, offering an array of the highest quality, fully traceable seafood with a provable provenance and guaranteed taste.

8 December 2020, New Bedford, Mass – American consumers have heard all about the health benefits of seafood, which is high in critical nutrients such as Omega-3 and DHA , which can help ward off everything from heart attacks and high blood pressure to strokes. While the USDA recommends consuming two eight-ounce servings of seafood weekly, nearly 90% of Americans don’t get the recommended minimum. There are two key reasons for this nutritional gap. The first is that many Americans are concerned about mislabeling and misidentification of seafood—with good reason. According to conservation group Oceana, more than 20 percent of seafood sold in grocery stores, markets, and restaurants is mislabeled, in some cases with inexpensive species labeled as more pricey sea bass or snapper. What’s more, many consumers are unsure how to select seafood, and how to properly prepare and cook it.

The solution: KnowSeafood. The New Bedford-based startup is launching a game-changing online seafood market that uses innovative blockchain technology to bring traceability and trust to the seafood chain. Americans can now purchase a variety of the highest-quality sustainable, natural seafood and track it from catch to delivery at their door.

In the U.S., seafood typically goes through an average of four to seven middlemen before it arrives in grocery stores. While 90% of the seafood consumed in the US is imported, about half of that is actually American-caught seafood being reimported after processing overseas—often in China or Southeast Asia. Such a long and complicated supply chain inevitably leads to more middlemen with no way to trace its provenance. This provides ample opportunities for both purposeful and accidental misidentification and labeling.

KnowSeafood builds traceability into the food chain by cutting out the middlemen and working directly with trusted global harvesters who share the same high sustainability standards. These harvesters are committed to environmental protection and are actively engaged in corporate social responsibility. Each piece of fish is shipped directly from harvesters to KnowSeafood, removing middlemen, opportunities for mislabeling and also unknown additives or preservatives. Every harvester must adopt blockchain technology, which further ensures traceability and provides the end consumer with complete transparency.

Innovative blockchain technology from VeChain underpins KnowSeafood’s sustainability and traceability guarantee. KnowSeafood supply partners upload harvesting, processing, and shipping data; the data is immutable and cannot be changed, ensuring every detail of when and where the seafood was caught, processed, and shipped is accurately recorded, building trust directly into the food chain.

These details are immediately available on KnowSeafood’s online seafood market and on all packaging via the StoryBird supply chain transparency application, which provides consumers with interactive profiles of the fishermen, details their sustainability practices, maps out the location of the harvest, and reports the time and date when the seafood was landed, processed, shipped, and delivered. Consumers concerned about fish fraud, use of additives and preservatives, and unsustainable fishing methods now KnowWho, KnowWhen, KnowHow, and KnowWhere their seafood came from even before they buy.

The harvesters inspect, grade, prepare, and pack their seafood into individual portions and then flash freeze it at -40°c to -80°c, all within hours of being landed. KnowSeafood ensures all of its seafood is frozen only once—which guarantees exceptional quality and avoids the degradation in flavor and texture that occurs when seafood is iced, thawed, and frozen multiple times. KnowSeafood is thawed just once, when it’s safely in the consumer’s home and ready to be cooked. What’s more, KnowSeafood is natural, with no additives or preservatives, and comes with a 100% happiness guarantee.

The company is making serious commitments to combat climate change and help protect the environment, starting with its net-zero carbon cold storage facility in New Bedford, Mass. From there, orders are received from harvesters and shipped to customers exclusively in Vericool boxes—made with 100% compostable insulation and 100% recyclable materials.

KnowSeafood enables consumers to buy sustainable and fully traceable seafood from world-class suppliers of the freshest, highest-quality varieties including scallops, tuna, lobster, haddock, shrimp, mahi-mahi, sea bass, and salmon. Suppliers include:

Aurora Salmon from Lerøy. Sushi-grade salmon raised under the Aurora Borealis in the arctic fjords of Norway on a diet of natural marine algae oils, including one grown here in the U.S.A. These oils are the richest source of EPA & DHA Omega 3—the two key types of healthy Omega 3s that are only found in fish and seafood. Using algal oil promotes marine biodiversity and makes salmon more sustainable by reducing the wild-caught fish used as salmon feed.

Nordic Wild Sea Scallops from Nordic Inc, New Bedford, MA. Natural, wild, hand-shucked sea scallops strictly from US North Atlantic waters. Owned and operated by Dan & Daneen Eilertsen, this fleet of six scallopers is the pride of New Bedford. It’s also Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)-certified, which ensures its fishing practices do not diminish wild fish populations or the ecosystem they’re part of. Never treated with additives, their scallops are on ice within 90 minutes of being landed, and you can taste the difference a family’s pride makes.

Rocky Coast Lobster Tails from Owls Head, Maine. These lobsters are harvested in the morning and brought to the dock the same day by independently owned day boats working off the coast of Owls Head Maine. The cold and pristine waters around Owls Head are famous for a rich and diverse ecosystem that produces some of the world’s best-tasting lobsters, while strict regulations limiting the number of pots, crew, and minimum/maximum size of the catch ensure the sustainability of the fishery.

Artesean’s Diver Caught Bay Scallops—SeaCorp, Peru
Harvest of the Sea Shrimp --Harvest of the Sea, India/Vietnam
Maldhoni Tuna – Maldives Quality Seafood Inc., Maldives/Sri Lanka
Oceano Mahi Mahi – Oceano Seafood, Peru
PezCo Rainbow Trout – PezCo Aquafarming, Colombia
Royal Greenland Chilean Sea Bass – Royal Greenland, Chile
Royal Greenland Cold Water Cooked Shrimp -- Royal Greenland, The Maritimes, Canada
Alaska Gold Halibut and Sablefish – Seafood Producers Cooperative Sitka, Alaska

The co-founders of KnowSeafood, Daniel McQuade and Paul Neves, grew up in New Bedford, MA, the top port in the US for seafood in value, and have a combined 50 years of experience in the seafood industry. Their mission at KnowSeafood: giving home chefs a direct connection to trusted harvesters of sustainable, natural, trusted, and traceable seafood while remaining fully committed to protecting the environment. They want to ensure the oceans and seas are alive and thriving for generations to come.

About KnowSeafood

Founded by seafood industry veterans Paul Neves and Daniel McQuade, KnowSeafood is a startup based in New Bedford, MA, with offices in Raleigh, NC. KnowSeafood is the first direct-to-consumer online seafood market to use blockchain technology to ensure transparency and traceability in its supply chain direct with the consumer. Its mission is to provide U.S. consumers with direct access to the best quality sustainable, natural seafood from a trusted network of global harvesters while working to protect the environment and ensure ocean biodiversity. It’s the first online seafood market to eliminate the middlemen and the risk of fish fraud, additives, preservatives, and mislabeling, giving U.S. consumers a direct connection to sustainable harvesters from around the world and the ability to trace their seafood every step of the way from the ocean to the front door. From Norwegian salmon and Peruvian Mahi-Mahi to New Bedford, MA’s own wild scallops, KnowSeafood delivers trusted seafood with a proven provenance directly to the discerning home chef.

Daniel McQuade
CEO, KnowSeafood

Whitney Foard Small

About VeChain

Launched in 2015, VeChain connects blockchain technology to the real world by providing a comprehensive governance structure, a robust economic model, and IoT integration. VeChain is the pioneer of real-world applications using public blockchain technology, with international operations in Singapore, Luxembourg, Tokyo, Shanghai, Paris, Hong Kong, and San Francisco. Together with our strategic partners PwC and DNV GL, we have established cooperative relations with many leading enterprises in different industries, including Walmart China, BMW, BYD Auto, Haier, H&M, LVMH, D.I.G, ENN, AWS, PICC, ASI etc.

About StoryBird

StoryBird is a storytelling application that educates consumers about the products they purchase. The app provides full transparency into a product’s supply chain from producer to consumer, utilizing media, content and blockchain traceability. StoryBird allows for consumers to connect directly with the producers of their products and each stakeholder in the supply chain to communicate their unique story. StoryBird is an application of Producers Market.

Daniel McQuade and Paul Neves, co-founders of KnowSeafood
Daniel McQuade, left, and Paul Neves, co-founders of KnowSeafood

Daniel McQuade
Co-founder and CEO, KnowSeafood
Daniel McQuade is the Co-founder and CEO of KnowSeafood, a privately held direct-to-consumer seafood ecommerce platform that uses blockchain technology to ensure transparency and traceability in its supply chain. KnowSeafood partners with a rigorously vetted group of global harvesters of sustainable, natural seafood in order to eliminate the middlemen and offer their products directly to the consumer.

Before founding KnowSeafood, Daniel successfully founded 3 companies and pioneered the first USDA-approved Natural Light Beef company. In 2019, Daniel worked directly with IBM FoodTrust to deliver the first fully integrated blockchain solution that allowed consumers to see the entire journey of their seafood from point of harvest to plate. Working off the success of that project and recognizing the consumer demand for traceability in the seafood supply chain, Daniel went on to co-found KnowSeafood.

Since 2009, Daniel has been a counselor for the Columbia-Harlem Small Business Development Center at the Columbia Business School in NYC, where he helps entrepreneurs and small business ventures achieve next-stage growth. In 2013, he joined Venture for All, an affiliate of Columbia Business School, as a director and adjunct professor developing the frameworks for a suite of world-class business school programs. This global online initiative aims to enhance the entrepreneurial ecosystem in emerging markets through education and mentorship.

Over the course of his career, Daniel has created, worked with and volunteered with CSR and non-profit organizations in capacities ranging from founder, president, executive board member and trustee, providing over $7 Million in grants to a wide range of non-profit institutions focusing on education, health, and wellness.

Paul Neves
Co-founder and COO, KnowSeafood
Paul Neves is the Co-founder and COO of KnowSeafood, a privately held direct-to-consumer seafood ecommerce platform that uses blockchain technology to ensure transparency and traceability in its supply chain. KnowSeafood partners with a rigorously vetted group of global harvesters of sustainable, natural seafood in order to eliminate the middlemen and offer their products directly to the consumer.

The man behind the scenes, Paul is always looking for ways to improve process, and can usually be found elbow deep in product, making sure it’s the best it can be for the end consumer. Born into the seafood industry, Paul represents the fourth generation of the Neves fishing family. He started his career unloading boats on the docks in New Bedford, Massachusetts, went on to manage seafood plants, and has founded or co-founded multiple companies. He learned from the bottom up, which is why he takes pride in building a strong team and sees the value of every member, no matter their position or title.

In 2006, Paul co-founded Oceans Alive Scallops, a company that cemented its reputation as a favorite among white tablecloth restaurants after chef Josiah Rosenberg won Season 5 of Bravo TV’s Top Chef using Oceans Alive Scallops. Oceans Alive was one of the original members of the American Scallop Association, which funded the research to establish the Atlantic Scallop fishery as a Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified fishery. Sustainability has always been a priority, and Paul has been involved in everything from equipment design to use of byproducts and plant operation efficiencies.

Using Storybird Technology to Trace Seafood from Dock to Doorstep
KnowSeafood customers can trace every step their seafood's journey from ocean to front door through the innovative use of blockchain technology paired with Storybird supply chain transparency application software. Interactive maps and photos show exactly when, where, and how this Rainbow Trout was caught and shipped.

Factory workers inspect just-caught sushi-grade Aurora Salmon from Lerøy in Norway.
Factory workers inspect just-caught sushi-grade Aurora Salmon from Lerøy in Norway.

Rocky Coast Lobster Tails are caught by Maine lobstermen off the coast of Owls Head. All Rocky Coast lobsters are caught by harvesters who work on independently owned day boats and sell their catch at a fair price.
Rocky Coast Lobster Tails are caught by Maine lobstermen off the coast of Owls Head. All Rocky Coast lobsters are caught by harvesters who work on independently owned day boats and sell their catch at a fair price.

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