GDST Leads Solution Provider Exercise for Implementing Interoperable Seafood Traceability

Press Release - March 16, 2021

Washington, DC – The Global Dialogue on Seafood Traceability (GDST) hosted an innovative interoperability implementation exercise to demonstrate solution providers’ workflows and choreographies to communicate traceability data. As a large and diverse business-to-business forum in the seafood sector, GDST aims to ensure the responsible and legal origin of seafood products by creating access to verifiable information through digital, interoperable traceability. Five leading traceability solution providers collaborated on the exercise, which leveraged the GDST 1.0 standards released in March 2020 to bring the industry together around common data requirements and data-sharing formats. The exercise showed how the standards, which utilize and extend GS1’s Global Traceability Standard 2.0, unite diverse seafood traceability systems and facilitate end-to-end traceability through global supply chains.

Solution providers Chainparency, OpenSC, Plenumsoft Marina, Trace Register, and Wholechain participated in the extensive four-day exercise that simulated real-life situations (integrations) to communicate data using the standard in a collaborative environment supported by GDST experts. The exercise also leveraged modern communication protocols to create a communication choreography involving GS1 Digital Link, EPCIS Query Interface, and ASNs. The exercise and development of these choreographies are a huge leap forward in seafood traceability interoperability.

Jayson Berryhill, Co-Founder at Wholechain, stated “Forums of this kind are essential to address the wide variety of challenges faced in different areas of the supply chain and throughout different geographies. Our team is excited about the connections made at this event, and the refinements this helped to facilitate, as interoperability and integration with different systems is a core focus of Wholechain’s value proposition.” When asked about the event, Dr. Dag Heggelund, CTO of Trace Register said “The GDST interoperability workshop proved to be extremely useful for our team. Discussing interoperability issues with other traceability providers and the GDST technical team gave us new insight into how to tackle the many challenges of interoperability.  GDST also provided our team with exposure to several great tools GDST has developed in order to make interoperability easier.”

By developing production-level integrations and communication choreographies, the solution providers were able to validate and detail the methods for scaling food traceability communication. Over the course of a four-day period, solution provider teams used sample supply chain data and GDST EPCIS XML data, to effectively construct workflows on consuming and exporting GDST Critical Tracking Events (CTE’s) in a reproducible and scalable manner. Sample files are accessible at GDST’s GitHub (

Exercise participants gained insight into the importance of having a standard communications protocol. Lessons learned from this experience include improving code examples, data sharing guidance, and documentation for usage by solution providers and seafood companies. “It was a great opportunity to learn more about the standards and the vision behind them, as well as to meet and work with other companies in the field who are all aligning around these standards,” said Travis Reeder, CTO of Chainparency.

The GDST 1.0 standards are effective for streamlining integrations and allowing solution providers to achieve end-to-end traceability for seafood companies. Through the continued promotion of technological relationships and bridge-building, seafood companies will have more confidence in selecting solution providers that can operate together, including those already employed by their suppliers or customers.

The interoperability exercise demonstrated that bridging data systems is possible, however ensuring that data collection applications, such as aquaculture management platforms and e-logbooks, utilize and natively output GDST-structured data will take interoperability’s utility to a new level, effectively linking on-water activities with supply chain expectations. The GDST believes that this style of proactive and interactive technical working session will continue to innovate the seafood traceability space. Jayson Berryhill agreed “We have many seafood suppliers who are using Wholechain to capture data at scale in alignment with GDST so we are eager to participate in further exercises that can advance the goal of data interoperability in seafood supply chains.”

In the next phase, the GDST will continue to advance first-mile digitization with GDST 1.0 through additional technical convening activities, including supplementary hackathons and implementation workshops. Learn how your company can get involved in the GDST, the largest and most diverse business-to-business forum in the seafood sector, by visiting

About the Global Dialogue on Seafood Traceability (GDST)

The GDST is an international, business-to-business forum established to advance a unified framework for interoperable and verifiable seafood traceability. The Dialogue brings together more than five dozen companies from around the globe and across different parts of the seafood supply chain. In March 2020, after a multi-year industry-led drafting process, the GDST released the first-ever global standard (GDST 1.0) governing information content and data formats for seafood traceability systems. Learn more at