WASHINGTON, D.C. – An innovative study in the Peru mahi and jumbo squid fisheries proved how affordable digital technologies can work with new global seafood traceability standards to produce positive results for small-scale fishers and their customers. The study was organized by World Wildlife Fund Peru (WWF-Peru) 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 was successful in advancing a widely used mobile electronic catch documentation and traceability (eCDT) system, TrazApp, into an interoperable and globally scalable model in alignment with the GDST Standards. TrazApp, an application created by WWF-Peru for use in the Peru mahi and jumbo squid fisheries, was developed to provide fishers access to systematized information in real-time for greater control over their catches and commercial trading of their products, as well as to meet government requirements to formalize fishing cooperatives.
The overarching goal of the project was to help fishers, government authorities, downstream seafood processors, and customers connect digitally and seamlessly. With the guidance of the GDST Secretariat, multiple players came together to make this happen. Local experts in Peru were able to enhance TrazApp to transmit data in formats compatible with third-party traceability systems as well as adhere to the GDST standards. Plenumsoft Marina, a technology solution company based in Mexico, worked closely with WWF-Peru and the GDST Secretariat to align data within the TrazApp system with GDST 1.0 so that the information could be exchanged in a compatible format with Trace Register, an integrated third-party traceability system.
“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. 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,” said Blake Harris, Sr. Food Traceability Manager at IFT.
“Plenumsoft Marina has operated for a few years in the technology space in Mexico and immediately joined the GDST once the standards were released. 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,” Edel Gutierrez Moguel, CEO at Plenumsoft Marina.
This pilot demonstrates the importance the GDST standards play in allowing traceability applications to seamlessly communicate data at critical supply chain events such as harvest (fishing areas, target species, incidental species), landings (by species and weight), and sales to local markets or processing plants. Additionally, GDST aligned systems will have the capabilities to generate file formats in compliance with the United States’ Seafood Import Monitoring Program (SIMP).
“TrazApp can now benefit not only the players in the mahi 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,” Jose Carlos Alvarez, Traceability Officer at WWF-Peru.
“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,” said Phil Werdal CEO of Trace Register.
Going forward, Plenumsoft Marina will continue its work with WWF and the GDST Secretariat to assess opportunities for the data exchange to occur through a more automated interface. “We will continue to work with TrazApp in hopes that this model will be replicated to help other fisheries in Central and South America,” said Edel Gutierrez Moguel, CEO at Plenumsoft Marina
About the Global Dialogue on Seafood Traceability (GDST) GDST is an international, business-to-business platform established to advance a unified framework for interoperable and verifiable seafood traceability. The GDST brings together more than eighty companies from around the globe and across different parts of the seafood supply chain. In March 2020, after a multi-year industry-led drafting process, the GDST released the first-ever global standard (GDST 1.0) governing information content and data formats specifically for seafood traceability systems. Learn more at www.traceability-dialogue.org or contact the GDST by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT)
IFT is a global organization of approximately 12,000 individual members in 95 countries who are committed to advancing the science of food. Since 1939, IFT has engaged experts in food science, technology, and related professions from academia, government, and industry to solve many of the world’s greatest food challenges. IFT provides scientific, technical, and career development resources for advancing the science of food and its application across the global food and agricultural systems. We believe that science is essential to ensuring that our global food system is sustainable, safe, nutritious, and accessible to all. For more information, please visit ift.org.
About Plenumsoft Marina
Plenumsoft Marina (PM) is a technology-based company committed to the design and development of solutions for the maritime and fisheries sector, through the efficient and effective use of technological tools and innovation. The continuous work of scientific research, technological development and focus on the customers, have been fundamental to build customized products according to the sector-specific requirements. PM is uniquely positioned to support small-scale and industrial fishing fleets to adapt to the evolving traceability requirements to export to the EU and US and to comply with traceability legislation under development. For more information, please visit plenumsoftmarina.com.
About Trace Register
Founded in 2005, Trace Register is the leader in full-chain seafood traceability, with clients in more than 50 countries. It serves processors, fishers, farmers, retailers, importers, retailers, and more in the seafood ecosystem. Trace Register’s latest release, TR5, transforms seafood supply chains with an unprecedented approach by utilizing cutting-edge technologies and industry standards such as GDST and GS1. TR5 smart traceability builds value by helping to satisfy regulatory and customer requirements resulting in less risk, higher margins, and satisfied customers. www.traceregister.com.
About World Wildlife Fund (WWF)
WWF is one of the world’s leading conservation organizations, working in 100 countries for over half a century. With the support of more than 5 million members worldwide, WWF is dedicated to delivering science-based solutions to preserve the diversity and abundance of life on Earth, halt the degradation of the environment, and combat climate change. Visit www.worldwildlife.org to learn more and keep up with the latest conservation news by following @WWFNews on Twitter.