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Community Contribution

USAID Oceans & Seafood Alliance for Legality & Traceability: Strategic Collaboration

Jenny Barker, Jenny Kane, Heidi Schuttenberg, Cristina Velez Srinivasan, Craig Kirkpatrick, John Parks

The Oceans and Fisheries Partnership (Oceans), a collaboration between USAID and the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center (SEAFDEC), works to strengthen regional cooperation to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, promote sustainable fisheries and conserve marine biodiversity in the Asia-Pacific region implemented by Tetra Tech. The Seafood Alliance for Legality and Traceability (SALT) is a global alliance for knowledge exchange and action on seafood traceability. SALT is a public-private partnership between USAID and the Walton Family, Packard and Moore Foundations and is implemented by FishWise. 

This is a story of intentional and strategic collaboration between two USAID activities with different implementing partners (IP) out of different USAID offices. While USAID understands the value of and promotes collaboration when possible, intentional and strategic collaboration in design and activity coordination is difficult.  From the Oceans’ experiences, USAID saw the need to build the technical evidence base for seafood traceability on a global level and to promote knowledge and learning around traceability that was coming from Oceans’ work. SALT was designed with the intention to support that need and also provide a platform for knowledge sharing from Oceans’ experience with a broader audience. This created the foundation for strong collaboration based on mutual need. 

However, executing the design has to be matched through the implementation of the activity. SALT and Oceans have already started to collaborate including partnering on a large, co-design meeting for SALT to be hosted in Thailand and will coordinate more in the future. SALT will highlight and leverage Oceans’ regional experience and learning sites to validate and improve the evidence for traceability by telling the stories of their work.   

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