The IFITT model for linking traceability and landings enumeration has been shown to work. Traceable product has made it to the US market. Scaling the programme up now depends on buyer engagement.
Only two years ago traceable tuna was thought to be far too difficult. The IFITT programme has overcome a wide range of problems to send the first consumer facing traceable product to the market. Our partners MDPI have also refined their outreach and are set to establish new sites beyond Ambon and Bitung.
The final 12 months of the project are focused on finding buyers and understanding the market demand for consumer facing traceability. Attention by the United States government and the European Union provide a regulatory push for traceability. But what remains unclear is what level of transparency that these activities will deliver for tuna fisheries and what level of transparency businesses in the tuna industry will accept.
These questions are central to what the IFITT programme will address in 2016. They will also be taken up on a new PhD project, carried out by Mandy Doddema at the Environmental Policy Group.