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Traceability in the Seafood Industry

January 22, 2014

There’s an excellent piece at The Guardian on seafood traceability.

Traceability is underway within sustainable forestry certification programmes (such as the Forest Stewardship Council), organic agriculture labelling, and in apparel (such as the Honest By label), and perhaps least well known, with seafood.

For companies, the lack of real-time fisheries data can result in ill-advised sourcing decisions. The reality is simple: without the timely data electronic traceability provides, all seafood retailers and restaurants are at risk of sourcing from collapsing fisheries which could have damaging effects on their brands.

I like how it showcases the very cool e-certificate work of Norpac.

In the seafood industry, there is an enormous opportunity to expand traceability– to identify and manage both supply chain risks as well as associated brand and reputational risks. One example is a scalable electronic system developed at Norpac Fisheries Export. Since 2002, Norpac has developed and refined a new system to allow tracking not only of the raw material, but the finished products – from location of catch through to the end user.

Within this traceability system, there is data capture that includes fishing area, vessel name, species, weight, grade, logistics chain, finished cut(s), yield, temperature, and more. Additional data on the length or colour can be included, indicating sex and maturity of the seafood. Fish cut into smaller pieces, such as fillets, can be “reassembled” electronically and traced to the vessel, or through to end users.

You can learn more about Norpac’s traceability work here.

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