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3p Traceability Week: Q&A with Flip Labs on Seafood Traceability

Mary Mazzoni headshotWords by Mary Mazzoni
Leadership & Transparency
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Join Triple Pundit and a panel of experts for 3p Traceability Week to discuss traceability in four controversial arenas — seafood, fashion, minerals and medical marijuana.  Ask your questions in the comments section, and follow along hereThe Q&A closes on Tuesday, September 16. 

Fact: More than one-third of the seafood sold in North America is mislabeled, by either type of fish, catch method or provenance. And upwards of 24 million tons of seafood is caught and sold illegally every year.

Traceability is a hot-button issue in all supply chains, but when it comes to the food we eat, these figures become even more unsettling. As Cheryl Dahle, founder of Future of Fish and CEO of Flip Labs, noted in a recent op/ed on Triple Pundit: "Beyond what that deception may mean for your health, it is also a window to other more systemic challenges, including pirate fishing, human trafficking, and widespread fraud and corruption."

She went on to explain that these problems can't be addressed by a few consumers making the choice to "eat local." "We need to rebuild the systems and behaviors of the global interconnected brokers, corporations and governments that touch your food before it hits your plate," she wrote.

To accomplish this, stakeholders in the seafood industry have come together to compile verified data on where and how a fish is caught. Regulators already require any seafood caught or sold in the U.S. to provide documentation of where, when and how it was caught. But, as 3p correspondent Lauren Zanolli pointed out, that information is still often filed on paper forms, and there is no way of knowing if it will follow the right piece of seafood through the supply chain. So, naturally, some questions remain about how to improve traceability in seafood supply chains.

As part of 3p Traceability Week, Cheryl Dahle of  Flip Labs will be on-hand all week to answer your questions about seafood traceability. Respond with your questions in the comments section below!

To get the conversation started, we have a few questions of our own:


  1. What are the biggest barriers you face in creating end-to-end traceability in the seafood industry?

  2. How has technology changed the game in terms of monitoring inventory? What technology do you think is most promising for offering an end-to-end solution?

  3. Imagining that every business at every step of the seafood supply chain has technology in place to monitor their stock in and out; what else is needed to achieve whole-chain traceability?

  4. What strategies or initiatives have been useful in making progress towards better traceability in the seafood industry? Are there any examples or initiatives you can point to that have had some success?
Check the comments section below for Cheryl's answers to our questions, and don't forget to ask your own! The Q&A closes on Tuesday, September 16. 

Image credit: Flickr/good_day

Mary Mazzoni headshotMary Mazzoni

Mary Mazzoni, Senior Editor, has written for TriplePundit since 2013. She is also Managing Editor of CR Magazine and the Editor of 3p’s Sponsored Series. Mazzoni’s recent work can be found in Conscious CompanyAlterNet and VICE’s Motherboard. She is based in Philadelphia, PA.

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