Plenty of fish in the sea? Maybe not for long.
Overfishing — the practice in which fish populations are caught faster than they can reproduce — has been so endemic that 80% of the world’s species are in decline, and food fisheries may collapse completely as soon as 2050. For breeds like the Atlantic bluefin tuna, the sushi industry is the biggest culprit, with high demand for the delicacy draining marine communities far more quickly than the fish can reproduce.
San Francisco-based startup Two Fish hopes to turn the trend around.
Partnering with digital social innovators from the Cisco Foundation, Two Fish has used Cisco software to model a sustainable process for catching, packing, and shipping fresh sashimi via the startup’s e-commerce site (still pre-launch, Two Fish is currently funding on Kickstarter.)
Two Fish catches its fish using a small boat hook-and-line method that ensures no other species are accidentally killed in the process. After being caught, the fish are sliced, sealed, frozen, and shipped fresh directly to customers, all for about half the price they’d normally pay.
The company also hopes to reduce the rampant food waste common to the sushi industry by donating the traditionally discarded (but still delicious) parts of the fish to a non-profit partner, Project Open Hand.
It’s still early to tell whether Two Fish will gain the traction necessary to make a serious impact on the sushi industry, but the company’s business model is already a banner example of how digital innovation can both satisfy customer needs and transform harmful and inefficient business practices. Digital direct-to-consumer platforms like Two Fish can decrease costs, increase transparency, and reduce waste, all while pioneering sustainable practices that ensure our world’s treasured resources can be enjoyed indefinitely.
Regardless of industry, the power of digital can impact every stage of a company’s ecosystem. The new innovators are bringing a fresh perspective to digital strategy, efficiently designing an organization for change and setting a clear vision for where their business is heading. Traditional businesses need to conduct an assessment of where they stand against competitors, identify pain points and begin to build out their digital vision.
(Originally Published on the Centric Digital blog // November 14, 2014)