Track your seafood purchase using a new computer tool - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Track your seafood purchase using a new computer tool

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If you've ever wondered where your seafood comes from, a new computer program will answer your questions.  It will help ensure that any seafood you buy comes from the Gulf, and is safe. If you've ever wondered where your seafood comes from, a new computer program will answer your questions. It will help ensure that any seafood you buy comes from the Gulf, and is safe.
BILOXI, MS (WLOX) -

Wally Gollott checks his computer these days just as much as he checks the seafood conveyor belts at Gulf Pride Seafood. The new Gulf Seafood Trace program shows him where everything in his plant comes from. 

"Your imported shrimp will not have any kind of traceability and a lot of times they have antibiotics that are in the shrimp that the consumer is not aware of," Gollott said.

The program is operated by the Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission and it uses the latest high tech tools to track your seafood, according to Gollott.

"It gives the customer to go up there, scan it with his iPhone, and it will tell him from the point of where the shrimp was caught from, where it was processed, and where it was delivered to," Gollott explained.

He said it's not just shrimp that can be traced either.

"It's a Gulf wide thing where we are trying to do shrimp, oysters, crabs. We're trying to trace everything that's produced out in the Gulf."

Not only does this special software program let you, the consumer, know where the shrimp and other seafood is caught, and where it ends up, it also gives you something else: Peace of mind.

Alex Miller is with the Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission.

"Using traceability allows the consumer, allows the buyer to really have confidence in that product," Miller said. "It allows that seafood business to really differentiate their product from the imported product and be able to supply that to the consumer and allows them to have confidence that it's safe, that it's a quality product and it comes from the United States."

About 30 processors in the Gulf states are participating in the program. Dozens more have expresses an interest in joining up. The program began following the Gulf oil spill in 2010.  It's funded by the federal government, and is free of charge for participating dealers.

Copyright 2012 WLOX. All rights reserved.

SLIDESHOW: Gulf Seafood Trace

Go inside Gulf Pride Seafood in Biloxi as they process a shipment of Gulf shrimp. The company is one of the participants in the new Gulf Seafood Trace program, which allows customers to use their smartphones to learn about the origins of the seafood they're eating.

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