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Advances Being Made in Electronic Seafood Traceability

FishWise and GDST team up to work with both public and private sectors
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A new partnership between FishWise and the GDST aims to advance the implementation of interoperable, digitized traceability systems and the adoption of the GDST standard across the public and private sectors.

Nonprofit sustainable seafood consultancy FishWise and the Global Dialogue on Seafood Traceability (GDST), which sets the industry standard for digitally interoperable traceability in seafood, have formed a partnership to encourage the widespread adoption of traceability best practices in seafood supply chains. The new partnership aims to advance the implementation of interoperable, digitized traceability systems and the adoption of the GDST standard across the public and private sectors. According to the two organizations, “This collaboration could empower regulators and governments to support more standardized, transparent and responsible seafood supply chains.”

While the GDST Foundation works to expand the adoption of the standard and evolve it through the input of multiple stakeholders, FishWise concentrates on implementing traceability best practices by verifying data, assessing risks, and creating due diligence programs with seafood businesses, governments and NGOs worldwide. 

[RELATED: Seafood Group Issues Guidance on Social and Environmental Responsibility]

“Our new partnership with FishWise will allow us to make advances in the adoption and evolution of the standard.” said Greg Brown, executive director of the Washington, D.C.-based GDST. “FishWise’s deep involvement with its partners, plus its collaborative and consultative approach with multiple stakeholders, coupled with the GDST’s standard and technical resources, will bring traceability into many conversations and assist the industry and regulators in meaningfully adopting digital interoperable traceability in seafood.”

The partners additionally understand that both the private sector and governments should be involved in adopting and furthering traceability best practices.

“Standardizing data formats in both the public and private sector, and making electronic information sharing more seamless between traceability systems, is crucial, not only for meeting companies’ responsible seafood programs, but also regulatory compliance and better governance,” noted Sara Lewis, director of programs at Santa Cruz, Calif.-based FishWise, “Therefore, the collaboration will also explore the connections between GDST adoption and regulatory compliance, in pursuit of greater uptake of the standards through government engagement.”

By bolstering traceability commitments, urging private-sector investment in strong data systems, and reaching out to regulators and policymakers to align and support improved data practices, GDST and FishWise have the goal of helping to achieve fully traceable global seafood supply chains. 

In other seafood news, the Sustainable Shrimp Partnership (SSP), based in Guayaquil, Ecaudor, has joined the Haarlem, Netherlands-based Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative (GSSI) as an affiliated partner. Both groups are dedicated to encouraging responsible practices, ensuring the long-term viability of marine life, and protecting people and ecosystems.

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