Tasked with promoting commercial and regulatory alignment while considering issues such as regional needs and financial and operational feasibility, the working groups are the primary mechanism for the Global Dialogue to achieve a global framework for interoperable seafood traceability.
Starting with three overarching working groups, and convening mainly through online meetings, the working groups were further sub-divided to allow conversations within convenient geographic (time zone) regions and focus on specific technical issues.
The Working Groups produced a number of outputs, including:
Specific guidelines, proto-standards, or standards adopted through the Dialogue process and ready for industry use. Examples include:
- a globally accepted list and definitions of key data elements (KDEs) to be routinely associated with seafood products; and
- voluntary industry guidelines and recommended forms for securing data access rights.
General or aspirational guidelines, as well as recommendations for action to other bodies (public or private). Examples include:
- recommendations for best practices regarding data verification; and
- recommendations to governments regarding regulatory harmonization.
The working groups sought to agree with outputs on a consensus basis. A Steering Committee was established to help settle issues where consensus at the technical level could not be achieved. In the end, the Dialogue’s intent was to produce industry-driven, voluntary results. Participation in these working groups did not bind any organization or individual to endorse the final Dialogue outputs.