Clover Leaf Tuna Fish Handling Methods
Clover Leaf has built a reputation for high quality, great tasting products that always meet consumer needs. Product quality and safety are not characteristics that Clover Leaf takes for granted.
Clover Leaf tuna fish handling methods are put in place to ensure that high quality and sustainable tuna comes straight from the source. Clover Leaf has a strict quality assurance program in place that includes an intensive Supplier and Product Assessment program. A major component of this quality assurance program is that Clover Leaf will only source tuna from manufacturing facilities that meet or exceed Canadian government regulations for safety and cleanliness. In addition to these measures, Clover Leaf is the only provider of canned tuna in Canada that has full time quality assurance staff in South East Asia where the majority of canned tuna is sourced (The Clover Leaf Seafoods Family, 2014a).
The manufacturing facilities used by Clover Leaf operate according to internationally recognized Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) food safety principles. All facilities supplying Clover Leaf products are rigorously inspected on a routine basis to ensure they meet or exceed safety standards (The Clover Leaf Seafoods Family, 2014a).
Working to Improve Sustainability
In addition to ensuring that the safety and quality of products is never compromised, Clover Leaf is also dedicated to improving the sustainability of its tuna fishing practices.
Clover Leaf is working toward achieving true sustainability in its operations by implementing policies to help eliminate overfishing (Kennedy, 2014). 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
- 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 practices for sustainability (The Clover Leaf Seafoods Family, 2014b).
Purse seine fishing is especially important to Clover Leaf; purse seine fishing vessels account for approximately 62% of ALL tuna caught around the world each year (ISSF, 2014). All of Clover Leaf’s skipjack and yellowfin tuna are fished using this method (The Clover Leaf Seafoods Family, 2014c). Purse seine fishing vessels commonly employ the use of FADs (Tuna Sustainability, 2010) or Fish Aggregating Devices – a natural or man-made floating object that attracts schools of pelagic fish such as tuna - to further improve the efficiency of this fishing method.
Fishing on FADs has been incorrectly labeled as destructive by some due to its levels of bycatch, but studies have shown that non-tuna bycatch levels (non-targeted marine life that is caught incidentally) from FAD fishing are comparable or less than other industrial fishing methods (Laurent Dagorn, 2012).
Clover Leaf is a founding member of the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF), which continues to implement practices to further reduce bycatch levels of purse seine fishing using FADs. 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 – focused on promoting science-based initiatives for the long-term health of tuna stocks, reducing bycatch, and promoting ecosystem health. Since 2011, ISSF’s Bycatch Project has conducted globally coordinated cruises with fishers and scientists to gain input to identify improvements within the tuna purse seine fishery focused on reducing environmental impacts of fishing for tuna with FADs. The researchers’ findings are used in skipper workshops, globally, resulting in identification of best practices, new techniques and enhanced technologies to further minimize bycatch on FADs and improve management of tuna fisheries (Patterson, 2014).
ISSF. (2014). Purse Seine. Retrieved October 1, 2014, from International Seafood Sustainability Foundation:
Kennedy, J. (2014). Overfishing. Retrieved October 15, 2014, from About.com:
Laurent Dagorn, K. H. (2012, October 3). Fishing with FADs – Good or Bad? Retrieved October 10, 2014, from ISSF:
Patterson, E. G. (2014, May 1). RESEARCHERS WORK TOWARD BYCATCH MITIGATION AMONGST AN ACTIVE CREW OF FISHERMEN… AND AMONGST THE SHARKS. Retrieved October 16, 2014, from
The Clover Leaf Seafoods Family. (2014a). Quality. Retrieved November 4, 2014, from Clover Leaf:
The Clover Leaf Seafoods Family. (2014b). Sustaining Fisheries. Retrieved October 16, 2014, from Clover Leaf:
The Clover Leaf Seafoods Family. (2014c). Tuna School - How it's fished and processed. Retrieved October 30, 2014, from Clover Leaf Seafood School:
Tuna Sustainability. (2010, December 23). Glossary: FAD. Retrieved October 1, 2014, from YouTube: