Sustainable Food Systems


SmartFish Mexico

SmartFish's Value Rescue Model uses markets to improve fisher livelihoods, conserve marine ecosystems, and offer consumers responsible choices

Team Lead

Cecilia Blasco

Solution Pitch

The Problem

40 percent of the planet's fish stocks are overfished or collapsed. As much as 83 billion dollars are lost annually in an economically inefficient, opaque seafood system. These inefficiencies have huge implications on the over 100 million people employed in small-scale fisheries globally, most of whom are in developing countries. 

The Solution

SmartFish’s Value Rescue Model addresses the inefficiencies and misaligned incentives throughout the complex small-scale seafood system. SmartFish’s model addresses the entire value chain, beginning with internationally recognized standards to assess and improve the management of wild fish stocks. SmartFish NGO partners with small scale fisher co-ops to improve how seafood is caught, killed, handled and processed; how to implement cost-effective logistics solutions; and how to process and freeze seafood applying food safety standards, thereby creating jobs in coastal communities. 

By buying directly from well-trained, sustainable co-ops, SmartFish Inc. is able to offer its customers high-quality products at competitive prices with guaranteed traceability and food safety— and the fishers earn 30 to 60 percent more.


SmartFish offers its customers high-quality products at competitive prices with guaranteed traceability and food safety— and the fishers earn 30 to 60 percent more.  

Market Opportunity

The market value for high end, local, organic, and sustainable retail in the US is $4.8 billion, growing more than 10 percent every year. Meanwhile the market of big retail stores in Mexico is $1.5 billion and the US lunchbox market is estimated to value at $6 billion by 2024. There are 250,000 permitted small-scale fishers in Mexico, and SmartFish Inc. is the only company in Mexico exclusively buying and distributing verifiably sustainable, fully traceable, high quality seafood. 

Organization Highlights

  • St. Andrews Prize for the Environment, 2020 finalist 

  • Spoke at the Latin American Impact Investment Forum 2020

Partnership Goals

SmartFish Mexico currently seeks: 

  • Experts in developing hardware for seafood processing plants that is affordable for smaller fisher co-ops or mobile to be shared among co-ops, for example affordable solar power to reduce energy costs and technologies to repurpose fish processing waste. 

  • Introductions to companies and institutions with experience in supporting small-scale agriculture producers access better-paying markets. 

Solver Team

Organization Type:
Hybrid of For-Profit and Nonprofit

La Paz, Mexico


Working in:



Solution Team:

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