FishWise and Experts Identify Solutions for Legal and Traceable Wild Fish Products

Created on Thursday, 12 March 2015

The Expert Panel on Legal and Traceable Wild Fish Products is a multi-disciplinary expert group convened to promote a global framework for ensuring the legality and traceability of all wild-caught fish products. Organized byWorld Wildlife Fund and facilitated by Resolve, Inc., the Panel was established in early 2013 to generate solutions to common challenges in establishing such a framework through complementary regulatory and private sector mechanisms.

Mariah Boyle, Traceability Division Director at FishWise, has been a part of the Panel since its inception in 2013. Over the last two years panelists have discussed many topics related to traceability and Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) fishing and have generated eight recommendations to ensure wild fish products are legal and traceable. Many of the recommendations are current areas of work for FishWise. We look forward to continue to work on strengthening information standards for wild-caught fish products, establishing a global record of fishing vessels, and improving verification and electronic traceability within supply chains.

Expert Panel Recommendations:

  1. Minimum information standards for wild-caught fish products should be adopted
  2. Authoritative data sources, including a global record as soon as possible
  3. A harmonized system of “landing authorizations” should be established to provide primary assurances of the legal origin
  4. Multiple points of verification should be added throughout seafood supply chains
  5. A transition to fully electronic traceability systems should be accomplished for all commercial wild fish products within the next five years
  6. Support and capacity building must be provided to those producers who will need help with the transition to electronic traceability systems, particularly SMEs and commercial fishers in developing countries
  7. A global architecture for interoperability systems should be developed
  8. Where applicable, non-discriminatory border measures setting minimum standards for seafood traceability and proof of legal origin should combat trade in IUU products while facilitating legitimate commerce through a “risk-based, tiered, and targeted” approach

The panelists will present their findings and answer questions during international webinar taking place Monday, March 30, at 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 pm EDT
.  An online registration for the event is at

At FishWise we believe that continued efforts to improve traceability will help businesses address the problems of IUU fishing and human rights abuses within seafood supply chains while improving brand value and ensuring a sustainable supply of seafood for future generations.

To download the full report:

The panelists have also issued a joint statement on the report (PDF).