Advancing end-to-end traceability
(Critical tracking events and key data elements along capture fisheries and aquaculture value chains document summary)

The guidance document aims to establish standardized traceability practices in

fisheries and aquaculture value chains. It highlights the importance of globally

agreed definitions for critical tracking events (CTEs) and key data elements

(KDEs) to achieve end-to-end, electronic, and interoperable traceability. The

document supports countries in implementing traceability, drawing on private

sector-led initiatives and collaboration with stakeholders from various regions.

The development process involved desk studies, online public consultations, and

virtual regional consultations to gather input and insights from diverse

Traceability systems in the seafood industry must be aligned with international e-

business standards to ensure interoperability and verifiability. The Global Dialogue

on Seafood Traceability (GDST) has developed standards and guidelines for

interoperable seafood traceability systems, which include identifying minimum

data elements and technical formats for data sharing among systems. The GDST

standards aim to improve supply chain insight and data security while enabling

digital data transfer between supply chain partners.

End market states play a crucial role in traceability, ensuring that imported fishery

products meet legal requirements and have valid traceability unique identifiers

linking to other types of states, critical tracking event points (CTEs), and key data

elements (KDEs). Fishery authorities must be involved in overseeing importation

and implementing verification processes, including coordination with customs,

health, and biosecurity authorities to prevent non-compliant products from entering

the territory.

Effective traceability systems in the seafood sector have been incentivized by

various factors, including media attention on legal and social risks, governmental

traceability requirements, and private-sector sustainability commitments. This

guidance document aims to provide technical advice on critical tracking events

(CTEs) and key data elements (KDEs) required for robust traceability along the

seafood value chain, addressing challenges related to inconsistent demands,

formats, and interoperability in traceability systems. It also highlights the

importance of coordination between different operators in the production chain and

the integration of cross-countries and national traceability.

The document suggests adopting industry-wide use of standards like the GDST

Standards and Guidelines for Interoperable Seafood Traceability Systems to

improve the reliability of seafood information and reduce traceability costs. It also

highlights the need for exhaustive understanding of supply chain events and

scenarios, consideration of small-scale producers and potential gaps in national

traceability systems, and a clear understanding of the current operational

advantages and limitations of existing traceability systems.