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Over the last several years, many seafood groups have indicated a strong willingness to work together on seafood traceability

Global alliance launches online hub to unify efforts for tracing our seafood

Click on the flag for more information about Malaysia MALAYSIA
Tuesday, September 10, 2019, 16:40 (GMT + 9)

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. 

SALT Seafood Alliance for Legality & Traceability presenting at @WSC_Penang! With 350 participants from over 40 countries, this event is an excellent opportunity to learn about new collaborative tools like SALT and RISE from @FishWiseOrg.(Photo:  Jenny Barker, M.P.A Chief of Party of SALT/Tiwtter)

"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.” 

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