Clover Leaf Fishing Responsibilities
Clover Leaf understands the need to implement advanced sustainable fishing practices to preserve the oceans as a reliable food source, safeguarding the environment and the future of the seafood industry worldwide. As such, Clover Leaf is dedicated to reducing the negative effects of commercial fishing on marine ecosystems and raising sustainability standards by improving fishing practices. This ensures that fish stocks will remain strong and continue to be available for future generations.
Perhaps the most important aspect of sustainable fishing is the eradication of overfishing. Overfishing occurs when fish are harvested at an unsustainable rate (Kennedy, 2014). The rate is deemed unsustainable when fish are harvested faster than they are able to reproduce and maintain species’ populations.
Eliminating overfishing is a difficult task with many obstacles to overcome. A large, continuing threat to sustainable fishing is the presence of unscrupulous vessels and operators engaged in illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing practices. Vessels engaged in IUU fishing practices avoid being monitored and do not report their catch data to local Regional Fisheries Management Organizations (RFMOs). The RFMOs play an essential role in managing and conserving tuna stocks within specific jurisdictions (Fisheries and Oceans Canada, 2011). These organizations rely on reported catch data from fishing vessels to accurately monitor fish stocks, ensuring that overfished stocks are identified and allowed the necessary time to recover.
The International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF) is working closely with RFMOs to preserve the long-term health of global tuna stocks and marine ecosystems, as well as reducing bycatch by focusing on promoting science-based initiatives. The ISSF is a global organization composed of leading scientists, members of the tuna industry and World Wildlife Fund (WWF) – the world’s leading conservation organization. The ISSF also works with the RFMOs to create a powerful alliance which strives to eliminate IUU fishing and its negative effects on marine ecosystems.
The ISSF encourages all vessels to register a UVI (Unique Vessel Identification) number with their RFMOs (International SeaFood Sustainability Foundation, 2011), promoting greater transparency and traceability of all harvested tuna catch. By procuring tuna catch from registered vessels only, manufacturers like Clover Leaf are helping to eventually eliminate IUU fishing. In addition, Clover Leaf is able to reliably source from ISSF designated sustainable fisheries; this provides great incentive for all fisheries to work with the ISSF to gain sustainable designation, yet another way of combatting IUU fishing. Clover Leaf is also dedicated to helping fisheries achieve sustainability. Instead of abandoning fisheries that lack data and/or robust management practices, through the ISSF, Clover Leaf will work with these fisheries to develop improvement plans and adopt practices for sustainability; a 3rd method of eradicating IUU fishing practices (The Clover Leaf Seafoods Family, 2014a).
Clover Leaf and the Sustainable Future of the Tuna Industry
Clover Leaf is proud to be part of a coalition that is actively opposing IUU fishing practices in the tuna fishing industry. Clover Leaf is a founding member of the ISSF and continues to be involved in improving the sustainability of commercial tuna fishing through its commitment to the global foundation. In addition to continuing efforts to eradicate IUU fishing, sustainability practices for FAD fishing (Tuna Sustainability, 2010b), such as the use of non-entangling nets, have been identified by the ISSF and implemented by fishermen to further reduce bycatch levels, stemming from the ISSF Bycatch Project (The Clover Leaf Seafoods Family, 2014b).
As a leader in the Canadian canned tuna industry, Clover Leaf firmly believes that science must inform policy, stakeholders must communicate with policy-makers and enforcement arms, and industry leaders must use their influence to incentivize sustainable fishing practices. Clover Leaf takes its fishing responsibilities seriously and is dedicated to continuing to make improvements to sustainability through its commitment to the ISSF.
Fisheries and Oceans Canada. (2011, September 3). Regional Fisheries Management Organizations. Retrieved October 10, 2014, from Fisheries and Oceans Canada:
International Seafood Sustainability Foundation. (2011, May 3). RESOLUTION 10-01 (AMENDED): RFMO AUTHORIZED VESSEL RECORDS AND UNIQUE VESSEL IDENTIFIERS. Retrieved October 1, 2014, from
Kennedy, J. (2014). Overfishing. Retrieved October 15, 2014, from About.com:
The Clover Leaf Seafoods Family. (2014a). Sustaining Fisheries. Retrieved October 16, 2014, from Clover Leaf:
The Clover Leaf Seafoods Family. (2014b). FAQ - How much bycatch is caught using FADs. Retrieved October 1, 2014, from Clover Leaf:
Tuna Sustainability. (2010b, December 23). Glossary: FAD. Retrieved October 1, 2014, from YouTube: