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Local entrepreneur's company aims to reduce seafood waste

Sheamus MacDonald has been virtually presented with the Mitacs Global Impact Entrepreneur Award
Sheamus MacDonald
Sheamus MacDonald has been presented with the Mitacs Global Impact Entrepreneur Award - photo provided

A local entrepreneur has received a prestigious award.

Sheamus MacDonald has been presented with the Mitacs Global Impact Entrepreneur Award.

His start-up, Dartmouth-based Sedna Technologies, has launched a high-tech mobile system that aims to reduce seafood waste by following the catch through all aspects of the supply chain.

"If we're going to harvest resources, it's nice to make sure that they make it to a consumer and to a market, so taking what I've known from the industry, I've applied that knowledge alongside technology to try and mitigate some of the waste," MacDonald told NEWS 95.7's The Sheldon MacLeod Show.

The 30-year-old grew up in a commercial fishing family. He graduated from St. Francis Xavier University's Aquatic Resources Management program before getting his Master's degree in Marine Studies from Memorial University in Newfoundland.

He said his company's technology uses a mobile app and sensors to monitor and track the real-time conditions of seafood products, starting with a detailed breakdown of the water quality in the holding tanks on the boats.

"If you look at Nova Scotia, for example, one of our largest growing markets is Asia with live lobster," MacDonald explained. 

"So what we're doing is giving the exporters the tools that they need to make sure product is going to actually make it to China in live condition to be able to be sold."

If there is an issue anywhere along the line, users will get an alarm on their phone so they can deal with it before it becomes a major problem.

And if there is spoilage, buyers and producers will be able to track down exactly where the problem occurred.

"If you're purchasing from a number of different harvesters or different suppliers, using RFID as a traceability tool, they can actually track back to see where the product came from and the conditions it was held to be able to mitigate that from happening again," he said.

MacDonald co-founded Sedna Technologies with his former St. FX roommate, Aleksandr Stabenow.

"He comes from the technology field, so we put our heads together to come up with this product," MacDonald said. "But we also employ six others in Dartmouth and remotely in Nova Scotia, and our team is constantly growing."

MacDonald is one of five winners of the Mitacs Entrepreneur Award. Mitacs is a not-for-profit organization that fosters growth and innovation in Canada.


Meghan Groff

About the Author: Meghan Groff

Born in Michigan, raised in Ontario, schooled in Indiana & lives in Nova Scotia; Meghan is the community editor for HalifaxToday.ca.
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