We were established in 2017 as an international, business-to-business platform responding to the need for a shared, common language for supply chain traceability to address ethical, responsible, and sustainable seafood supply.

This is developed through our Dialogues, and implemented via our Standard.

Originally convened by a partnership between the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), the GDST is a non-profit foundation that grew out of a global conversation – our first ‘Dialogue’ – around the central pillars of digital traceability for seafood supply chains. From this Dialogue, emerging from participatory workshops across Asia, Europe, and North America, the global GDST Standard was defined.

The GDST Standard and associated resources are designed to provide your organisation with a full picture seafood traceability.

The GDST is both a movement and a mechanism for transforming the sustainability of global seafood supply through digital traceability.

GDST tools can enable your organisation to:

Improve reliability of seafood information

Reduce the cost of
seafood traceability

Help reduce risk across supply chains

Support the long-term social and environmental sustainability of the sector

Now a permanent platform, staffed by an expert team, the GDST is building a global community around its Standard – through partnership engagement, sharing of tests, tools, services, and ongoing Dialogue process.

By combining this community – our movement – with the Standard – our mechanism – the GDST is working towards a world where universally adopted, digital interoperable traceability promotes real trust in fishery and aquaculture supply chains.

Why does there need to be traceability within THE global seafood supply?

Markets are experiencing growing pressure from consumers and from new legislative requirements to offer products that are ethical, responsible, safe and sustainable, but enormously complex, international supply chains mean that the ‘origin story’ of seafood – whether wild-caught or farmed – can be lost in the journey to the restaurant table or supermarket shelf.

The GDST provides retailers with access to tools that help them to meet new legislative requirements and enable them to tell a reassuring values-based story to consumers of the sourcing of their products. Being able to share information on all stages of the supply chain gives confidence that products have been safely and sustainably produced and ethically and responsibly sourced.

Interoperable, digital traceability is a critical tool for responding to:

  • ever-growing consumer demand for, and awareness of, safe and ethically-sourced seafood products
  • rising concerns across civil society and business around the marketing of seafood that is sourced from illegal, unsustainable, or socially irresponsible practices
  • increased interest from business in improving transparency within their supply chains


The GDST Standard is applicable across all links in the seafood supply chain, and relevant for all businesses in fisheries and aquaculture irrespective of scale.

There are distinct benefits to businesses in implementing the Standard. As consumers increasingly demand safe, ethical, sustainable seafood, supply chain Partners benefit from accessing tools and information to meet this demand, and at a reduced cost in comparison to developing a bespoke traceability system.

The cost savings continue to increase as a greater percentage of industry adopts the Standard. So, the more seafood traceability is based on a common, digital language, the more accessible and affordable it is for businesses of all sizes.

The GDST enables you to provide your customers with the full picture of seafood traceability, so you can tell the compelling story consumers want to know.


Following the EU Due Diligence Directive, legislators are demanding ethical products. The Standard is also of interest to civil society and campaign groups – representing an industry-backed and practical tool to foster positive societal and environmental change.

At the regulatory level, it is critically important that governments adopt the GDST Standard into their policies – so that data is required to be captured and shared in a common format, driving progress on traceability internationally and supporting the responsible, ethical and legal supply of seafood. The Standard provides a ready-to-use and industry-backed architecture for governments and policy-makers to adopt.

The GDST provides the tools that enable you to require the seafood supply chain to deliver a full picture of seafood traceability.

How does GDST work?

The GDST continuously evolves alongside the changing needs of the industry and through stakeholder input via the global Dialogue. As the Standard develops, we look to explore how new information can be incorporated – for example, Key Data Element (KDE) frameworks covering social, environmental, marine ingredients, and aquatic animal welfare pathways, amongst other topics.

By basing the evolution of the Standard on a participatory, multi-stakeholder Dialogue, we provide GDST partners with the opportunity to have a “voice” in how it evolves, by reflecting the real needs of the seafood sector in a practical way.

The GDST and its mission is reinforced by a range of Partners, who make solid commitments to traceability and benefit from expert support, additional resources, and visibility as leaders in the field of truly sustainable seafood supply.

Find out more about becoming a GDST Partner.

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