Traceability & IUU Support

FishWise has a comprehensive understanding of traceability systems available on the market today, as well as how to develop in-house solutions. Consumers and buyers alike are seeking assurances associated with food safety and sustainability. An effective traceability system is essential to delivering the timely and accurate product information necessary to track tainted products back to their source and to verify sustainability. FishWise can:

  • Assess your current product tracking software & procedures, compare and contrast your system with other options on the market and provide recommendations on how to improve your traceability system.
  • Conduct a Traceability Risk Assessment to identify product that is likely to be untraceable, come from illegal sources, or be at high risk for misinformation or fraud.
  • Contract third-party audits of supply chains to validate legality and traceability for all seafood products.

Traceability Resources

Without a Trace II: An Updated Summary of Traceability Efforts in the Seafood Industry. August 2012.

Without a Trace: A Summary of Traceability Efforts in the Seafood Industry. May 2012.

fishwise trace white paper v2Mariah Boyle, Project Director at FishWise, summarized her research and learnings on seafood traceability in a white paper distributed in May 2012, for the purpose of assisting seafood companies and other stakeholders in the sustainable seafood movement. Extensive research was then conducted for several months and a revised white paper was distributed in August of 2012. The updated version incorporated feedback from stakeholders, the governance and importance sections were significantly expanded, additional organizations were added and the suggested next steps for seafood businesses improved. The appendix includes useful links, IUU blacklist links, a comprehensive reference section and an expanded contact list.

It is hoped that this document will create connections across sectors and groups, and will spark conversation as to how the seafood industry can work together to eliminate illegal fishing and unacceptable social conditions from supply chains. If government, conservation organizations, funders, and the industry work together, significant progress on seafood traceability can be made and, in turn, the environmental and social aspects of the seafood industry improved.

To be updated on FishWise’s latest seafood traceability work and future versions of this report, subscribe to the FishWise Traceability Mailing List. To inquire about this report, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

out of the shadows ejf fishwise

Illegal Fishing Resources

Bringing Fishing Vessels out of the Shadows

FishWise and the Environmental Justice Foundation have created a briefing document on the need for a Global Record of fishing vessels and a Unique Vessel Identifier. This document: 1) provides background information on these measures that aim to combat illegal fishing, 2) uses case studies from West Africa to illustrate the current challenges in tracking illegal vessels and highlight how UVI and a Global Record would have helped in these situations, and 3) provides recommendations for next steps for the US seafood industry.

2012 IUU Fishing Action Plan Workshop Notes

FishWise held an IUU (Illegal, Unregulated, and Unreported) Fishing Action Plan Workshop at the 2012 Seafood Summit. This workshop followed the traceability white paper (see above), that aimed to inform seafood companies and other stakeholders about traceability progress in the sustainable seafood movement.

The workshop featured three speakers: Steve Trent, Executive Director of the Environmental Justice Foundation; Scott Fraser, General Manager of Norpac Fisheries Export; and Russell Smith, Deputy Assistant Secretary of International Fisheries at NOAA, who gave presentations on the Global Record of Fishing Vessels, areas of opportunity for business and supply chain traceability improvements, and the UN FAO Port State Measures Agreement, respectively. The diverse audience of over forty participants from industry, government, NGOs, philanthropy, and academia then organized into three groups to discuss actions to address IUU fishing.

The consensus of the groups was that great focus should be placed on helping States to monitor and exclude vessels engaged in IUU fishing from landing at port. At the same time, action should be taken to prevent IUU fishing from occurring in the first place, through the implementation the Global Record of Fishing Vessels and by improving enforcement capacity. These notes outline the major themes of the discussion and summarize the action items determined by the group.

FishWise will continue to coordinate IUU fishing and traceability efforts among North American stakeholders. If you have any questions about the workshop or resulting next steps, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .