Clover Leaf Sustainable Fishing
Clover Leaf defines "sustainable tuna fishing” according to the following elements (The Clover Leaf Seafoods Family, 2014a):
- The catch comes from a fishery where the number of tuna in the fishery and the rate at which tuna are being caught are such that future generations will also be able to enjoy tuna from that fishery.
- It is known where the tuna came from, how it was caught, where it was processed and how it got to the consumer.
- The tuna was caught legally.
- The impact of fishing on related species and ecosystems is low.
- The fishery is being managed by a regulatory body whose policies are supported by science and regularly enforced.
Clover Leaf is aware of a growing dilemma in the tuna fishing industry - meeting global demands for canned tuna and also ensuring tuna stocks remain strong enough to feed future generations. The solution is sustainability improvements throughout the tuna industry, and this is accomplished with the implementation of sustainable fishing practices. Without sustainability measures being firmly rooted in place, the future of tuna fishing will suffer, and so will the health of oceanic ecosystems.
Clover Leaf and Overfishing
Overfishing is a major concern for the sustainable use of tuna stocks. Overfishing is the practice of catching fish at a rate that is higher than the fish stock can sustain (Kennedy, 2014). Monitoring and managing the status of the world’s tuna stocks is essential in determining the maximum sustainable yield (MSY) for targeted stocks as well as identifying any stocks which are weak and need time to recover. Regional Fisheries Management Organizations (RFMOs) rely on catch data from fishing vessels to manage tuna stocks. These organizations face the difficult task of managing, conserving and protecting the marine ecosystems for their respective regions (Fisheries and Oceans Canada, 2011).
Clover Leaf is working toward achieving true sustainability in its operations by implementing policies to help eliminate overfishing. This policy dictates that Clover Leaf will forego dealing with fisheries where ALL of the following is evident:
- Overfishing is currently taking place,
- The fishery is already overfished, and
- No actions are being developed (or are in place) to allow the fishery to return to a sustainable state.
Clover Leaf is dedicated to helping fisheries achieve sustainability. This includes helping fisheries that it deals with currently, and incentivizing other fisheries that lack data and/or robust management practices to develop improvement plans and adopt measures that will ensure their sustainability (The Clover Leaf Seafoods Family, 2014b).
Clover Leaf and the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF)
Clover Leaf is a founding member of the ISSF. The ISSF is a global organization composed of leading scientists, members of the tuna industry and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) – the world’s leading conservation organization – who are all focused on promoting science-based initiatives for the long-term health of tuna stocks, reducing bycatch, and promoting ecosystem health.
The ISSF is playing a major role in the evolution of sustainable fishing and the overall strengthening of tuna stocks around the globe by developing and implementing verifiable, science-based practices, becoming the industry standard for vessel owners, traders, processors and marketers, and ensuring that tuna fisheries meet the MSC (Marine Stewardship Council) certification standard. The organization provides strong support to RFMOs and to the entire tuna manufacturing process, from ocean to plate (ISSF, 2014). Clover Leaf is continually working through the ISSF to make further improvements to the sustainability efforts that are already in place to provide responsibly sourced tuna products to consumers.
Fisheries and Oceans Canada. (2011, September 3). Regional Fisheries Management Organizations. Retrieved October 10, 2014, from Fisheries and Oceans Canada:
ISSF. (2014). About Us . Retrieved November 14, 2014, from International Seafood Sustainability Foundation:
Kennedy, J. (2014). Overfishing. Retrieved October 15, 2014, from About.com:
The Clover Leaf Seafoods Family. (2014a). FAQ - What does 'sustainable seafood' mean? Retrieved October 1, 2014, from Clover Leaf:
The Clover Leaf Seafoods Family. (2014b). Sustaining Fisheries. Retrieved October 16, 2014, from Clover Leaf: