A Broader Overview and Investigation into Seafood Traceability Developments and the Current Landscape for the US West Coast Seafood Industry Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/dr26z308m

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  • Seafood is one of the most diverse and highly traded natural resources worldwide. Widespread evidence of increased seafood fraud and IUU fishing has placed enormous pressure on industry and governments to determine the authenticity, safety, and sustainability of seafood. The recently established US National Ocean Council has addressed several gaps in the patchwork of seafood regulations and policies among US government agencies through new legislative and executive efforts. While many challenges still remain, both mandatory and voluntary adoption of traceability systems in the US and internationally reveal a trend toward increased seafood product traceability and supply chain transparency in seafood systems in the global north. To date, much of the traceability efforts on the seafood industry have been largely focused on downstream firms and policy. To address these gaps, we investigated the current landscape of perspectives from industry professionals across value chains in the largest seafood hub in the United States. Results from background interviews, discussions, and an online questionnaire reveal a general lack of awareness of the Seafood Import Monitoring Program (SIMP), increasing importance of traceability with firm complexity, and an overall positive perception for the effectiveness of traceability to address large pressures and threats to the industry related to traceability. Unique characteristics regarding vertically integrated and larger firms were revealed, and small and upstream firms demonstrate a lack of traceability capacity over other firms. Whether market or regulatory driven, 92% of respondents to questionnaire agree or strongly agree that traceability is “here to stay.” Given concerns of social, economic, and ecological sustainability, demand for seafood product information will likely continue to increase in seafood systems worldwide.
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