The role of traceability in transforming seafood governance in the global South

Bailey, M.L.; Bush, S.R.; Miller, A.; Kochen, M.


Business-to-business traceability has historically played an important role in coordinating value chain activities and helping businesses to manage reputational risk. Its use and value, however, have recently extended beyond industry value chain actors alone, and traceability information may now contribute to improving government regulation, and via consumer-facing traceability (CFT) systems to sustainable seafood governance. Implementing traceability can be costly and requires coordination, consequently most systems utilized till date have been in the global North. Yet seafood value chains remain incredibly complex, and the majority of seafood is sourced from the South. This paper synthesizes the traceability literature through an informational governance perspective, analyzing if and how information can transform production practices while at the same time empowering producing nations. Traceability has gone beyond simply facilitating improved recall coordination, but the future value of traceability lies in how to design and organize systems in such a way that information flows can be harnessed to improve global seafood governance.