The 411: Traceability

In honor of National Seafood Month, we're breaking down some of the complex seafood issues impacting our ocean. 

Published October 15, 2015

What is traceability? 

Traceability refers to the ability to rapidly and accurately track and trace seafood through the entire supply chain (from ocean/farm to plate). 

What impact is this issue having on our ocean? 

While industry and government regulations have made significant head way in improving the traceability of produce and terrestrial sources of protein, little progress has been made on the seafood front. 

Without proper labeling and source information, there’s no way industry regulators can ensure the seafood making its way to our supermarkets and restaurants is sustainable. In addition to the environmental repercussions, consumers are oftentimes paying premium prices for seafood that has been mislabeled. That ahi tuna you’re about to sear…how sure are you that its not skipjack?

What is being done? 

Organizations like the National Aquarium and its partner Oceana are working diligently locally here in the Chesapeake Bay and across the globe to put policies in place that protect the ocean’s most exploited species. Did you know? Thirty countries control more than 90 percent of the world’s seafood catch. By working closely with fishermen, scientists and politicians, conservation groups hope to increase biodiversity in our oceans, so we can continue to feed those who depend on it!

How can I help? 

Learn more about Oceana’s studies on Seafood Fraud

To learn more about the National Aquarium’s seafood program, click here.

The 411 is a new blog series that addresses complicated issues facing our ocean in four simple ways. Have an issue you’d like us to break down? Email us at

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