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The global seafood industry is seeking electronic, whole chain, interoperable traceability solutions to reduce or eliminate Illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing. IUU fishing generally refers to fishing conducted in violation of national laws or internationally agreed conservation and management measures in effect in oceans around the world.
IUU fishing can include fishing without a license or quota for certain species, unauthorized transshipments to cargo vessels, failing to report catches or making false reports, keeping undersized fish or fish that are otherwise protected by regulations, fishing in closed areas or during closed seasons, and using prohibited fishing gear.
The objective of seafood traceability systems is to keep illegally sourced fish out of legal supply chains and prevent them from reaching the market. To achieve this, legally sourced fish must be identified and quantified at the beginning of the supply chain, and the "laundering" of illegally caught fish into any stage of legal supply chains must be prevented.
The best way to exclude IUU seafood from legal supply chains is through interoperable electronic traceability systems that span the entire supply chain from harvest to landing to processing and trade. These systems should enable step-by-step traceability and make it possible to monitor the "mass balance" of each and every harvest and landing.
The components of a whole chain, interoperable seafood traceability system include:
- Globally Unique Identifiers for seafood and containers (URLs, GS1 GTIN + Lot, GS1 GTIN + Serial Number, etc.)
- Standardized Data Carriers (Barcoded Labels, RFID, IoT Devices, etc.)
- Readers that work with Data Carriers and enable data collection and sharing (IOS and Android based devices)
- Uniform Key Data Elements and Critical Tracking Events that describe traceability data (examples provided)
- Master Data to enable semantic interoperability (EPCIS Master Data, GDSN, FAO Code Lists, etc.)
- Standard File Formats to enable syntactic interoperability (EPCIS XML)
- Traceability data sharing technologies to connect business systems (EPCIS Query, EDI, Blockchain, FTP, Email, API, etc.)
- Project to Develop an Interoperable Seafood Traceability Technology Architecture: Issues Brief
- Future of Fish Seafood Traceability Glossary
- GS1 Traceability
- GS1 Traceability Schema