Have a question? Ask us!

To ask a question, please fill out the form below. A GDST team member will reach out to you within 5-7 business days with a response. You can check back on this page to see your answer (if you chose to list it publicly) along with answers to other questions we have received.

If you have any issues filling out this form, please contact us directly at info@traceability-dialogue.org.

Questions & Answers:

Data Verification Questions:

  • Data collection and KDEs are the cornerstones of traceability. But without verification of that data, there is no assurance that information is accurate. How is the GDST working on data verification or incorporating verification into its standards?

The GDST guidelines provide and define where authoritative data sources can be verified. This currently enables companies, governments, and other auditing stakeholders to verify the information they receive. In the future, we believe that technology solutions may be able to automatically verify data, but for now the GDST has provided authoritative sources to support data verification. The standardization and harmonization of traceability practices through GDST 1.0 will enable verification through corroborative sources, such as remote sensing, satellite tracking, and other visibility initiatives (e.g. Global Fishing Watch).

  • How will compliance with fisheries and labor regulations be tracked in the system?

The GDST standards do not address labor in the GDST KDEs to a specific level of detail, as the current absence of well-established international norms setting standards for specific corporate behaviors to protect human rights made it impossible for the GDST to adopt specific social KDEs without becoming, in essence, a standard-setting body for responsible company performance. However, the members agreed that this topic is important to start tracking them as a high-level indicator so KDEs were added that ask whether any social welfare policies are in place, if they are audited, and by whom.

  • Will there be an indicator for the level of validation by the government or by a 3rd party?

This is not currently in the scope of the GDST 1.0 standard. It is possible to have validation through adding a government certificate information or 3rd party audit in the <certificateList> section of the EPCIS file. However, because of variable government requirements, this is not part of the Basic Universal List of KDEs. On the GDST GitHub repository, we have documentation for a few common certifications and regulations; this section will grow as the GDST standard is applied in more jurisdictions and certification schemes.

  • Will there be an indicator for whether satellite tracking data is available for review?

The Wild-capture Basic Universal KDE list has a KDE for ‘Satellite Vessel Tracking Authority’. Please see KDE W13 for more details.

  • How do you reconcile identity information that doesn’t match? Who is responsible for validating information for accuracy to prevent “garbage-in/garbage-out”?

There are two main segments to identity verification and validation: at data collection and during data sharing. In the technical implementation guidance, we provide five requirements that data sharing protocol should provide to successfully validate the data origin, authorization, and acknowledging of receipt by authorized recipient. GDST provides a unified, recommended approach to implementing a REST API, using openAPI, which accomplishes these requirements. Validation of garbage in/garbage out, requires coordinating validation mechanisms with the given authoritative document sources. These are not easy challenges to resolve, as they are complex and diverse, but standardization of what data should be collected and where will enable the proliferation of security and validation tools.

Transshipment Questions

  • How does it foreseen that many vessels in the tuna fisheries do partial transhipments to more than one carrier, and/or a mix of landing and transshipment? How does the traceability standards will deal with that scenario from the operational point of view? the example was presented was on a landing of a tuna vessels to a factory, there are not too many scenarios like this unfortunately (in comparison to the rest of options)

Even in the case of partial holds being off loaded, there is still the ability to capture aggregation events if accurate records are kept. Part of the vessel log or any e-log would also have a place for storage locations aboard the vessel. Additionally, as specific operational situations occur, such as partial landing/transshipment, the GDST GitHub will document the recommended approach to capture this in EPCIS. The EPCIS framework is flexible enough to articulate these supply chain events depending on the behavior of the given identifiable units. To ensure consistency, the GitHub will have demonstrable EPCIS events to ease implementation by IT and supply chain personnel.

Unilateral Traceability Questions:

  • How will these GDST standards align and connect with national-level import control schemes? At the moment, the EU and US have their own systems, and we expect Japan and Canada to follow suit soon. It would be good to understand the relationship and complementarity between the GDST and unilateral traceability measures.

The GDST standard, consisting of the Basic Universal List of Key Data Elements and IT architectural and interoperability guidance, focuses on the standardized collection and conveyance of information to ascertain seafood legality. Part of the ongoing processes of the GDST include harmonizing the standard with country specific schemas. For ease of complementarity, the GDST has provided a space with best practices on applying GDST 1.0 for regulatory compliance, such as SIMP or EU IUU, on our GitHub (https://ift-gftc.github.io/doc.gdst/). As more countries follow suit in issuing traceability measures, the GDST secretariat will continue to provide documentation on the repository. The standard is designed to be flexible and extensible to accommodate additional information that may be required for national government regulations or certification requirements.


If there are any further comments or questions, please use the form at the top of this page to submit your inquires. 

Thank you!