The Standard

The GDST’s vision is for reliable and seafood traceability – standardized globally, through one common data language.

The development of the GDST Standard has been driven by industry and stakeholder participation in our Dialogues – including businesses and industry partners at all points of the supply chain. This roots the Standard and associated tools in what is practical for business, and ultimately beneficial to consumers.

The GDST’s vision is for a world where universally adopted, digital traceability promotes trust in fishery and aquaculture supply chains

The GDST’s Mission is to champion and advance the standardization, adoption, and implementation of interoperable digital traceability through practical tools, dialogue, and global collaboration.

Decisions about what is included within the Standard and supplementary materials were taken through the 2017-2020 Dialogue process; adopted by consensus through a number of working groups and GDST Partners.

The GDST Standards is highly technical, and contain two main elements:

  • 1. The Standard identifies the minimum data elements that need to be documented and transmitted within GDST-compliant seafood supply chains.
  • 2. The Standard governs the technical formats and nomenclatures for sharing data among interoperable traceability systems.

Alongside the technical detail of the Standard, and how to implement it, we have created several non-technical documents to explain more about what the Standard contains, what the Standard means for business and society, and how the Standard can be applied.

The current version of the GDST Standard is the Core Normative Standard 1.2, which can be downloaded in full below, alongside some practical guidance on how to apply them.

Keen to have more insight into what the Standards are and what they mean for seafood businesses?

If you have any questions please contact us.

Read our Executive Summary here

What’s the difference between versions of the Standard?

Since the original Core Normative Standard (V1.0) was released in 2020, the GDST has progressed to Standard 1.1 (in 2022) and 1.2 (in 2023).

The main substantive change was a new requirement in the Technical Implementation Guidance to use the GS1 Digital Link communications protocol as the unique means of establishing computer-to-computer communications for the transfer of GDST-compliant data. GDST 1.0 had not prescribed a single communications protocol – and this was found to be a barrier to interoperability. All of the updates in version 1.1 were reviewed and approved by a working group of external experts convened by the Secretariat for that purpose. 

In June of 2023, the Standard was updated to GDST 1.2. Version GDST 1.2 transitions from XML to JSON-LD as the supported data format, which is more commonly used in the software development community. This update puts the standard in line with the recent update of the GS1 EPCIS data standard. GS1 is the global, neutral non-profit standards organization which provides the common language at the core of the GDST Standard.


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