Sustainability Improvements to the Clover Leaf Tuna-Catching Environment

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The Clover Leaf Tuna-Catching Environment

Clover Leaf understands the importance of sustainability in commercial fishing and is taking steps to ensure the long-term health of tuna stocks for future generations. This is why Clover Leaf promotes sustainable tuna fishing practices and the responsible harvesting of healthy tuna stocks.
Clover Leaf’s canned tuna products are not only healthy for you, they are also sourced sustainably from sustainable fisheries. Clover Leaf Seafoods’ policies concerning fishing methods, practices and techniques underpin the sustainability and business decisions of the company. These include responsibility surrounding sourcing, protection of ocean environments and traceability of the majority of species sold, from ship to plate. The International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF) is a global organization composed of acclaimed scientists, tuna industry experts from various sectors and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) – the world’s leading conservation organization – all of who are united by a common concern over the future of tuna stocks and a focus on promoting science-based initiatives for the long-term health of these stocks, reducing bycatch and promoting ecosystem health (The Clover Leaf Seafoods Family, 2014a).  

Eradicating Illegal Fishing Activities

A major obstacle in the successful management of global tuna stocks and the determination of sustainable catch levels continues to be illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. The ISSF and Regional Fisheries Management Organizations (RFMOs) rely on accurate catch data from registered fishing vessels in order to effectively manage tuna stocks. Vessels engaged in IUU fishing activities deliberately avoid being monitored and do not report their catch data which impede the efforts of the ISSF and RFMOs. Vessels engaged in IUU activity behave as though they are under no obligation either legally or environmentally to follow sustainability measures.
In its efforts to effectively combat IUU fishing, the ISSF has implemented policies which require its members to only deal with fishing vessels that employ traceable and transparent tuna fishing practices. To demonstrate legality and efforts towards tuna sustainability, vessel owners are required to adopt ISSF’s ProActive Vessel Register (PVR), which focuses on vessel compliance with a science-based commitment aimed at creating a more sustainable fishing practice (Miguel Jorge, 2014).
As a founding member of the ISSF, Clover Leaf is a major part of the coalition against IUU activities. They have concluded that the provision of market-based incentives is a powerful motivator in increasing transparency and combating IUU fishing activities (Miguel Jorge, 2014).

Reducing Bycatch

Among other fishing methods, Clover Leaf sources tuna that is responsibly caught using purse seine fishing on FADs (Fish Aggregating Devices – a natural or man-made floating object that attracts schools of pelagic fish such as tuna), and continues to work with, and implement practices identified by, the ISSF to further reduce bycatch levels resulting from this fishing method (The Clover Leaf Seafoods Family, 2014b). Some of the key findings from the ISSF’s Bycatch Project have already been implemented, for example, in the form of non-entangling nets for purse seine FAD fishing operations (Patterson, 2014).
The ISSF is dedicated to improving the overall sustainability of the tuna fishing industry. The Clover Leaf tuna-catching environment is becoming more responsible and sustainable as a result of these ongoing efforts.  

Works Cited

Miguel Jorge. (2014, July 2). ISSF: A HOLISTIC APPROACH TO ENDING IUU. Retrieved October 15, 2014, from ISSF:


The Clover Leaf Seafoods Family. (2014a). Sustaining Fisheries. Retrieved October 16, 2014, from Clover Leaf:

The Clover Leaf Seafoods Family. (2014b). Tuna School - How it's fished and processed. Retrieved October 30, 2014, from Clover Leaf Seafood School:

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