Applied Food Technologies (AFT) offers a DNA-based species identification service for seafood which meets FDA’s guidance by relying on adequately authenticated samples rather than publicly available databases. AFT compares all fish to a database generated from taxonomically identified references. Because the FDA’s current guidance states that they will only make regulatory decisions based on identifications using adequately authenticated standards, AFT helps a firm comply with the FDA’s guidance. AFT clients for seafood species testing have included the FDA, NOAA, state governments, distributors, retailers, grocery store chains, and restaurants, among others.
Explore traceability, counter-illegal fishing, and social responsibility efforts.
Click on any region of the map for information on work occurring worldwide that addresses these seafood issues. SALT believes learning and collaboration will accelerate progress in these topics, so we’ve included descriptions and contact information to connect. Use the search functions below to dive into our list view.
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Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) Key Data Elements (KDE) project: In line with their commitment to continuous improvement, the Programme Assurance team initiated a project aimed at introducing technology to improve digital traceability. This involves using software to capture and convey key data elements from certified farm origin throughout the supply chain. The project aims to enhance supply chain transparency, mitigate risk and provide greater verifiable information to meet industry expectations. The KDE project is being developed with collaboration farms, industry and retailers and the ASC works together with the Global Dialogue on Seafood Traceability (GDST) towards industry alignment and interoperability. The collected data, of which some will flow through the complete supply system, will most likely be species-dependent. These data elements will evolve as the standards, requirements and needs of the supply chain evolve. In 2020, the ASC will evaluate the results of the pilots in relation to wider implementation.
Archipelago offers electronic monitoring products and services for commercial fisheries worldwide. Based on more than 30 years of experience in training and managing certified onboard observers, Archipelago designs solutions that work for fisheries and industry regulators. Archipelago offers training, consulting, and certified data-review services, plus specialized equipment and software needed to monitor and review fishing activity at sea.
Arnold & Porter LLP advises global companies in high-risk industries on anti-corruption and supply chain security compliance and investigations. The firm’s natural resources trade practitioners include a former federal prosecutor who headed the highly publicized Lacey Act investigation and prosecution of the Arnold Bengis international fish smuggling ring, a former high-level State Department official who focuses on international trade and supply chain issues, and a number of attorneys who worked at the Department of Justice’s Environment and Natural Resources Division. Their lawyers bring a depth of experience in U.S. trade law, corporate compliance programs, environmental law, and criminal and civil litigation.
A catch reporting smartphone app designed for Android and iOS smartphones. This app requires connection to a cellular network to transmit data, and is meant for inshore fleets. The app is customized for each fishery and offers dropdown menus that collect data for target species, gears deployed and bycatch. The app can also collect location of catch by having fishers select areas on a digital map. As it collects more and more data, the app is able to show fishers their own catch trends and other indicators that are useful for business planning, such as fishing effort expended and areas fished.
Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) is a third-party aquaculture certification program. The BAP certification covers the four pillars of responsible aquaculture production, including: social accountability, environmental responsibility, food safety, and animal welfare–all verified by robust traceability and chain of custody. BAP is an aquaculture certification that encompasses the entire seafood value chain: farms, processing plants, hatcheries, and feed mills.
Blue Ventures works to rebuild tropical fisheries with coastal communities by developing transformative approaches for catalysing and sustaining locally led marine conservation. They help coastal communities implement smartphone-based monitoring systems to electronically capture catch data that had previously been recorded using paper notebooks. They have pilot projects in the Madagascan shark fishery.
They have also created tools – such as the Open Data Kit (ODK) – to help users build bespoke mobile data collection forms with limited prior technical knowledge. They’ve adapted their mobile system to numerous contexts, from the shores of east Africa to the islands of the coral triangle, and from use by fishing communities to monitor marine turtle nesting sites and fishery landings, to gathering feedback from ecotourists and even registering attendance at community health clinics. Each new iteration tests the flexibility of the system and provides new tools and learning, experiences to support partners seeking to adopt this open source technology, from countries and contexts as far afield as Mozambique, Comoros and Indonesia.
Bluefin Data automates data collection for the seafood industry. With primary focus on implementing electronic reporting for government agencies, Bluefin Data’s clients in the United States span from Texas to Maine to the US Virgin Islands. Reporting to the government is complicated and time consuming, and Bluefin Data works to simplify this reporting process. Bluefin Data software, VESL, collects quality data with little effort all in one place. VESL is providing the recreation and commercial sectors the ability to report to multiple agencies. It is the intention to expand Bluefin Data’s reach to truly provide the seafood industry a one-touch application for all reporting requirements.
BonifIDcatch® is an independent consumer advocacy company whose mission is to educate and guide consumers to reputable seafood retailers by ensuring seafood is accurately labeled. Verification is accomplished through DNA barcoding that identifies species, farmed vs. wild, genetic modification (GM) and proper use of FDA market names. BonifIDcatch® certifies restaurants and retailers who serve correctly labeled seafood. They use a chain-of-custody process to sample products and a proprietary database to analyze DNA barcodes. Sampling is done by actors posing as customers during unannounced store/restaurant visits. BonafIDcatch® earns its revenue from the retailers in exchange for their independent certification service and promotion of properly-labeled product.
For information on what philanthropic, government, and international agencies are funding initiatives around the world to better seafood traceability and counter-IUU fishing practices, please use the Funding the Ocean map.