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Key Traceability is an independent company registered in England that provides services in sustainable fisheries and aquaculture. Across the team, our qualified auditors have conducted 100s of audits across the globe for vessel social conditions, traceability and environmental standards. We also possess expertise in ecology and marine resources, undertaking fishery assessments and managing multiple Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs). Throughout this experience, effectively engaging stakeholders has been central in achieving meaningful and lasting change.

For any areas where further specialist knowledge is needed, we have strong relationships across a network of consultants, scientists and technical experts ready to collaborate with.

Our experience includes:

  • FIP implementation and management.

  • Fishery assessments.

  • Fishing vessel social assessments.

  • Social, chain of custody, traceability and environmental audits.

  • Economic and market analysis.

  • Company policy and procedure development.

  • Stakeholder engagement and strategic partner analysis.

  • Industry and fact-finding research.

  • Environmental footprinting for capture fisheries and aquaculture (Life Cycle Assessment).

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A Fishery Improvement Project (FIP) is a multi-stakeholder effort to address environmental challenges in a fishery. These projects utilise the power of the private sector to incentivise positive changes toward sustainability in the fishery and seek to make these changes endure through policy change.

Here at Key Traceability we are involved in over 20 FIPs; carrying out the scientific preassessments, drafting workplans and acting as the FIP coordinator while fisheries carry out the actions on their journey to certification. We have experience in all oceans with both small and large pelagics with multiple gear types. Most of these FIPs are aligned to the MSC Fisheries Standard but we also have experience in the Marin Trust (formerly IFFO) standard for fishmeal.

Additionally, we can carry out only the assessment, workplan or FIP implementation.

Here at Key Traceability, our FIP consultants have been involved in over 20 FIPs including, but not limited to:

 - Pacific Ocean tuna - longline (Thai Union)

Western and Central Pacific Ocean tuna - purse seine (Dongwon Industries)

Atlantic Ocean tuna - longline (StarKist)

Indian Ocean tuna - longline (Thai Union)

Atlantic Ocean tuna - longline (Bumble Bee/FCF)

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KT’s social team have undertaken social audits onboard fishing vessels across the globe, spanning the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific oceans, speaking to over 1,000 fishers onboard more than 100 fishing vessels. We have audited to numerous voluntary social standards and company codes of conduct, assessing basic human and worker rights, health and safety, the point of recruitment, and management systems. Our auditors have completed relevant training, possess specific experience on fishing vessel operations and employment, and a wealth of current industry knowledge and regulations. We have multilingual auditors and interpreters to communicate directly with crew, captains, and companies to conduct effective, robust audits.

Social audits are an essential tool in data gathering, assessing the situation within companies or onboard vessels, and prioritising risk areas. However, what the information gained from an audit is then used for is the critical next step in driving social improvements for fishers. KT has experience in working directly with fishing vessel owners in implementation of corrective action plans for vessels and fleets through reviewing and monitoring corrective actions.

This also allows us to offer comprehensive services to FIPs to support them in understanding and meeting the Fishery Progress social requirements, including assessing established social management systems and data, completing social risk assessments (SRA), or coordinating and implementing social workplans.

Beyond the vessel, we have worked with other stakeholders, such as governments, NGOs, trade unions, academic institutions and fisher and recruiter associations to develop knowledge, hold workshops, complete benchmarking and gap analysis exercises, and provide advice for driving social improvements at-sea across the industry.

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KT was born as a a consultancy company in 2015. Collectively, the KT team has over 50 years’ experience consulting in the fishery sector, carrying out FIPs, social audits, fishery assessments, factory audits, and managing successful projects for clients. KT and associated external consultants have an extensive network of social and traceability experts in the seafood industry, enabling us to successfully solicit feedback through existing communication channels.

Most recently, Key Traceability have worked with Fair Trade USA, the European Federation of Transport Workers, Global Seafood Assurances, and the Sustainable Seafood Coalition, in addition to KT’s work on vessel audits for private sector clients. Below is a summary of the most relevant previous projects:

  • Maldives market development study, client Waitt Institute and the Ministry of Fisheries, Maldives (2021 - current).

  • Norpac/Luen Thai frozen tuna supply chain assessment FSM/RMI for Safeway, USA (2011).

  • Yemen tuna products marketing and fresh tuna market development (2004).

  • Gaining EU approval for competent authority and seafood trade promotion, Mexico (2008).

  • Seafood markets study for Gambia (smoked), Mexico (including Fair Trade), USA, UK, EU (2003 to 2018).

  • MSC, ASC chain of custody assessments (2001 - current).

  • PNA MSC traceability design (including FSM supply chain) (2011).

  • FSM Purse seine vessel audits (2018 - 2019).

  • Sustainable market demand assessment (various projects and clients) and market buyer engagement partnerships (2015).

  • Development of buyer tuna specifications for US retailers (NGOs) (2011 to Current).

A full list of previous experience is available upon request.

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Ocean pollution, particularly from plastics, is gaining enormous traction in global media, largely due to the interaction with ocean species, including turtles, whales, and sharks. While the largest majority of ocean plastic pollution derives from land-based sources, the fishing industry is also a significant contributor through abandoned, lost, or discarded fishing gear (ALDFG). Lost or discarded fishing nets can also lead to ghost fishing, wherein oceanic animals can become entangled and die, leading to detrimental impacts on their populations.
Key Traceability is passionate about reducing marine pollution produced by global fisheries and has worked with some existing FIPs to improve the awareness about the issue. Aligning our own requirements with the recommendations from MARPOL Annex V, we have developed a waste management plan and policy, which has already been implemented across some of our Pacific and Atlantic Ocean FIPs.

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As food production accounts for a large share of environmental impacts globally, we must be proactive in reducing the footprint of all food sectors, including seafood from aquaculture and wild capture fisheries. To start reductions, an understanding of the current footprint is required.
Key Traceability has a firm understanding and practical training on the current and future industry requirements in this important field and can provide support in navigating this, including producing product and company footprints conforming to ISO standards and other relevant initiatives and laws (e.g the Marine Product Environmental Footprint Category Rules (PEF CR) and the Science-Based Targets Initiative (SBTi)).
To date, Key Traceability has conducted carbon assessments for a variety of vessels involved in the FIPs we coordinate and proudly form part of the Secretariat of the IDH Environmental Footprint of Aquaculture Working Group which utilises a Life Cycle Thinking approach to environmental footprinting.

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Looking to implement an Electronic Observer programme on your vessel or supply chain? Let us guide you.

KT has experience in planning and implementing all stages of an EMS installation onto large and small scale fishing vessels. We have helped develop RFPs, obtained proposals, organised data review requirements, installation of EMS, and organised the ongoing maintenance of these systems.

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Key Traceability has years of experience consulting in the global aquaculture sector. Extensive knowledge is held around certifications and ratings schemes, with many past projects working in direct relation with the Aquaculture Stewardship Council, Global Seafood Alliance (BAP), and Fair Trade, to name a few.
This practical knowledge is currently extended with our current work as a Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative (GSSI), Independent Expert conducting standards benchmarking.

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