From bait to plate: catalyzing commitment to traceability in the Peruvian mahi mahi artisanal fishing fleet

Through direct engagement with industry actors, we will catalyze new business commitments to seafood traceability along with fostering deeper existing commitments. Suppliers will be engaged with a suite of actions such as supply chain analyses, adoption of internal traceability solutions, and engagement with market chain partners to design and implement external traceability solutions.

What seafood sustainability challenge or need is this collaboration addressing?

The Peruvian mahi mahi fishery accounts for around 50% of worldwide fisheries, and over 80% of its exports are destined for the US. The US government recently implemented the Seafood Import Monitoring Program (SIMP) to monitor seafood imports for several species, including mahi mahi, and ensure they come from legal sources. The problem is that it is difficult to verify the legality of Peruvian mahi mahi products entering the US, as the fleet has developed without proper control from authorities, and there is no traceability system currently in place. Due to the lack of transparency in the catch and trade phase, it is difficult to obtain key catch data and transfer it up the supply chain to the US import level.

Please describe your vision for how your team will approach the problem, how collaboration is essential to success, and what ideal outcome or deliverable will result.

Overarching goal: We want to collaborate with industry and government in the co-development of an interoperable traceability system that allows the Peruvian mahi mahi fishery to meet the new US Seafood Monitoring Program (SIMP) requirements.

Specific objectives:

Collaborate with government authorities to co-design an interoperable system that can ensure full-chain traceability of mahi mahi. Run a pilot test of NOAA’s SIMP with interested industry stakeholders from the export-import interphase to identify possible bottlenecks and complications.

Promote engagement in the Global Dialogue on Seafood Traceability by key partners in the pilot (including industry actors in Peru and major buyers in the US).


Joint efforts by WWF-Peru, industry, and the government will catalyze the co-design of a traceability system from bait to plate for mahi mahi imported into the US. Artisanal fishers from two cooperatives are engaged with data collection and ready to transition from a traceability pilot towards a government driven traceability system.

Additional momentum is built in to meet the new US regulations, spearheading engagement to implement the bait to plate traceability system.

How can this sustainability challenge benefit from the experience and expertise of the seafood community?

We want to learn about the traceability systems being implemented in other parts of the world and by traceability vendors, to extract the lessons applicable to a globally important artisanal fishery that needs to meet the new US market requirements. WWF is ahead of the curve on traceability in Peru, but there’s still a lot to learn from other countries and implementers of traceability systems, hopefully saving valuable time and increasing industry and fisher motivation with stories of success.

Final pitch: What makes this project unique, and uniquely valuable to sustainable seafood?

Peru has some of the largest and most valuable fisheries in the world. Fishers and industry want to secure and increase their market access, while government wants to support, but resources and capacity are often lacking. We want to learn from seafood sustainability and traceability leaders to make global solutions accessible to Peruvian artisanal fishers. We hope that once an interoperable traceability system is developed for Peruvian mahi mahi, we can replicate it in other fisheries in Peru and in other countries. This project is unique in that it is the first collaboration between an NGO, government, and key seafood industry players to develop a truly interoperable traceability system that will align with SIMP requirements and help ensure that the seafood entering the US is legal and traceable.


Nicolas Rovegno, WWF-Peru, Peru

Business sector or primary seafood-related activity: NGO Key areas of expertise: Peruvian fisheries

Role on the team: Project leader

Name Wendy Goyert, WWF-US, US

Business sector or primary seafood-related activity: NGO Key areas of expertise: Fisheries sustainability

Role on the team: Team advisor

Name Evelyn Luna Victoria, WWF-Peru, Peru

Business sector or primary seafood-related activity: NGO Key areas of expertise: Fisheries sustainability

Role on the team: Team collaborator

Marilyn Montesinos, Programa Nacional A Comer Pescado, Perú

Business sector or primary seafood-related activity: Government agency Key areas of expertise: Commercial articulation

Role on the team: Team collaborator

Other Team Members

Justin Baugh, The Fishin’ Company Stephen Fisher, Sea Delight, LLC Walter Olaya, Refrigerados Fish Olg & Hermanos S.A.C.

Samuel Amorós, PRODUCE

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