Study finds opportunities for artisanal fishers to work with global traceability standards
In a new study led by World Wildlife Fund Peru (WWF-Peru), Peru’s mahi and jumbo squid fisheries were used to track how digital technologies can support small-scale fishers’ engagement with global seafood traceability standards.
The study was organized in collaboration with the Global Dialogue on Seafood Traceability (GDST) Secretariat, WWF-US and the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), and traceability technology companies Trace Register and Plenumsoft Marina. The study tracked the ability to advance a widely used mobile electronic catch documentation and traceability (eCDT) system that allowed the Peruvian fisheries become a part of an interoperable and globally scalable model in alignment with the GDST Standards.
TrazApp is an application developed by WWF-Peru for use in the Peru mahi and jumbo squid fisheries, allowing fishers access to systematized information in real-time for greater control over their catches and commercial trading of their products. TrazApp can also help fishers to meet government requirements to make it easier to formalize fishing cooperatives, WWF-Peru said.
Plenumsoft Marina, a technology company based in Mexico, worked with WWF-Peru and the GDST Secretariat to align data within the TrazApp system with GDST 1.0 so its information could be exchanged in a compatible format with Trace Register, an integrated third-party traceability system. The goal of this coordinated effort was to help digitally and connect the supply chain, including fishers, government authorities, downstream seafood processors, and customers, the groups said.
“Plenumsoft Marina has operated for a few years in the technology space in Mexico and immediately joined the GDST once the standards were released,” Plenumsoft Marina CEO Edel Gutierrez Moguel said. “We took learnings from a workshop held by the GDST to upgrade our system and were happy to help WWF-Peru advance to align with the GDST standards.”
This pilot demonstrates the importance of system alignment that the GDST standards provide to make it easier for artisanal fisheries to engage in traceability and helping different traceability applications seamlessly communicate data at critical supply chain events including harvest, landings, and sales to local markets or processing plants, according to Gutierrez Moguel.
“TrazApp can now benefit not only the players in the mahi and jumbo squid fishery supply chains, but multiple fisheries, both in Peru and around the world, thanks to the application of the GDST standards,” WWF-Peru Traceability Officer Jose Carlos Alvarez said.
Along with benefits to the fisheries, the study provides clear improvement opportunities for seafood supply chain traceability, according Trace Register CEO Phil Werdal.
“Trace Register found this to be such a worthwhile pilot, we will be releasing a production-ready feature so our clients will be able to import GDST adherent data from TrazApp moving forward,” Werdal said.
The Institute for Food Technologists saw similar value in the study.
“We are delighted to have been able to provide technical support for updating the TrazApp system to collect and export vessel level GDST compliant data to Trace Register.,” IFT Senior Food Traceability Manager Blake Harris Sr. said. “This work results in TrazApp joining the more than 30 solution providers in implementing the GDST standards for end-to-end traceability. It also provides a scalable and replicable model for all artisanal fisheries that want to answer the call from customers and governments for more traceable and transparent seafood supply chains.”
Photo courtesy of WWF-US/Molly Edmonds