PENANG, MALAYSIA — While stories continually emerge of illegal fishing and human rights abuses in the seafood realm, some of the greatest challenges have been finding consolidated guidance to combat these issues and identifying the groups working to address them. Until now.
Today, the Seafood Alliance for Legality and Traceability (SALT) launches its online learning hub: www.SALTtraceability.org to showcase seafood traceability efforts around the globe and ignite collaboration around this work.
“SALT is about bringing people together from across the world. This hub is for the global SALT collective to connect online around seafood traceability,” said Jenny Barker, SALT’s Chief of Party, “and it has the potential to significantly move the field forward.” Barker will introduce the SALT website at the World Seafood Congress today in Penang, Malaysia.
Traceability is the ability to track the movement of seafood from its source to its end use. However, that path often meanders around the globe before seafood reaches store shelves, making it challenging to trace. Without verified tracking, it is easier for products from illegal, unregulated, and unreported fishing to make it onto our plates. Those fishing practices can be damaging to the environment and detrimental to human rights. Traceability, particularly if accomplished digitally, is one tool to help expose unlawful fishing and improve fisheries management. However, installing traceability systems has its own obstacles, and measurable and immediate progress will be thwarted if everyone works in isolation.
Fortunately, many organizations working to increase traceability in seafood supply chains have expressed a willingness to collaborate to overcome these challenges. SALT, a public-private partnership between the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and the Walton Family, Packard, and Moore Foundations sees collective efforts and knowledge sharing as central to SALT’s mission. Thus, SALT’s website represents one way to weave together disconnected conversations and rally a community around making improvements in seafood traceability.
“We saw common challenges across our grantees around developing, implementing, and scaling electronic catch documentation and traceability systems, but didn’t have a platform for them to share lessons learned,” said Teresa Ish of the Walton Family Foundation. “As a result, we saw a lot of redundant projects, and a lack of a shared understanding of what works and what doesn’t. SALT has already helped build relationships between grantees in different countries and we’re seeing a stronger network and more information sharing across organizations.”
The SALT learning hub offers free, accessible online tools to further this aim and kindle collaboration across industry, non-governmental organizations, and governments. It includes:
- A repository of curated, easily accessible resources about traceability
- An interactive map displaying current traceability work happening globally
- A platform to circulate stories from SALT and the greater community about traceability discoveries to promote best practices and lessons learned
The process of curating worthwhile information in one place instigates meaningful dialogue around the problem and empowers people to meet a traceability need.
“[Finding solutions to seafood traceability] is a big challenge and no single entity can do this alone,” said SALT community member Alistair Douglas, founder of EachMile Technologies. “It will take the collaboration of industry, non-government organizations, and governments. And it is the important work of initiatives like SALT that are driving this forward to become a reality.”
SALT is a public-private partnership between USAID and the Walton Family, Packard, and Moore Foundations, and implemented by FishWise, a sustainable seafood consultancy. SALT promotes legal, sustainable, and responsible fisheries through increased transparency in seafood supply chains.
FishWise is a non-profit sustainable seafood consultancy based in Santa Cruz, CA. Uniquely positioned between the seafood industry and marine conservation organizations, FishWise offers a range of services that empower businesses and a diverse community of collaborators to lead the transition to a sustainable, responsible seafood industry. For more information, please visit www.fishwise.org, and follow FishWise’s work on Facebook and Twitter.
About the Walton Family Foundation
The Walton Family Foundation believes that conservation solutions that make economic sense stand the test of time. They work to achieve lasting change by creating new and unexpected partnerships among conservation, business, and community interests to build durable solutions to important problems. Learn more at: www.waltonfamilyfoundation.org and follow @WaltonFamilyFdn.
About the David and Lucile Packard Foundation
David and Lucile Packard Foundation is a private family foundation created in 1964 by David Packard (1912–1996), cofounder of the Hewlett-Packard Company, and Lucile Salter Packard (1914–1987). The Foundation provides grants to nonprofit organizations in the following program areas: Conservation and Science; Population and Reproductive Health; Children, Families, and Communities; and Local Grantmaking. Learn more at www.packard.org and follow @PackardFdn.
About the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation
The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation fosters path-breaking scientific discovery, environmental conservation, patient care improvements, and preservation of the special character of the Bay Area. Visit Moore.org and follow @MooreFound.
The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is the world’s premier international development agency and a catalytic actor driving development results. USAID’s work advances U.S. national security and economic prosperity, demonstrates American generosity, and promotes a path to recipient self-reliance and resilience. USAID administers the U.S. foreign assistance program providing economic and humanitarian assistance in more than 80 countries worldwide. For more information, visit USAID.gov and follow @USAID.