Sustaining Healthy Canned Tuna for the Future

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The Benefits of Healthy Canned Tuna


Canned tuna is one of the healthiest additions to any meal. It is an excellent source of lean protein as well as vitamins and minerals. Canned tuna contains omega-3 fatty acids which have been proven to improve heart health, lower blood pressure and reduce risk of stroke.  (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2014)


 Canned tuna is also delicious; it is a welcome and affordable dietary staple for many families. There are many recipes available to allow consumers to enjoy tuna in a variety of different ways, with flavour variations to suit any taste.


Consumers looking to lose weight can eat tuna as part of a low-fat diet (Hauptman). Eating tuna also helps the body’s natural insulin response while increasing metabolism. People looking to improve their health can eat tuna as part of an antioxidant rich diet. Tuna contains minerals called selenium which serve as an antioxidant that could inhibit chronic diseases, and aging  (Yumiko Yamashita, Takeshi Yabu, Michiaki Yamashita, 2010). 


Is Tuna Abundant?



There is conflicting information about the abundance of different tuna stocks around the world. Is there enough tuna to meet the increases in consumer demand? Are tuna stocks strong enough to continue supplying healthy seafood for future generations?


Most of the world’s tuna stocks, canned for commercial purposes, are abundant and conservation efforts are being put in place to ensure that these stocks remain strong.


The species of tuna harvested for canning in Canada are:

  • Skipjack
  • Albacore
  • Yellowfin
These species are largely abundant according to the latest tuna stock status  (ISSF, 2014) provided by the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF).

Ensuring Tuna Sustainability

The ISSF is an organization that is comprised of acclaimed scientists, tuna industry experts from different sectors as well as members of environmental groups. These members have different backgrounds and expertise but they are united by a common concern over the future of tuna stocks and the desire to improve sustainability.
The ISSF is determined to develop science-based initiatives for long-term tuna stock conservation by determining best fishing practices, reducing bycatch (untargeted marine life that is caught incidentally) and improving the overall ecosystem health.
The ISSF monitors and manages different tuna stocks with reported fishing activities as well as captures data directly from fisheries, vessels and Regional Fisheries Management Organizations (RFMO)  (ISSF). The ISSF also works diligently to eradicate illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing practices (ISSF) – one of the largest obstacles to true fishing sustainability. The ISSF requires that its members conduct business only with fisheries and vessels that employ transparent fishing practices. Vessels are provided with powerful incentive to participate with their country’s RFMO and to put sustainability measures in place.
Manufacturers such as Clover Leaf rely on scientific findings from the ISSF in order to determine the maximum sustainable yields for each tuna stock and ways to minimize bycatch (ISSF) using effective fishing methods such as FAD fishing. These findings are essential for preventing overfishing and developing effective long-term sustainability plans.
As a founding member of the organization, Clover Leaf works with the ISSF toward maximizing tuna sustainability to ensure that families are able to enjoy the benefits of healthy canned tuna for generations to come. 

Works Cited

Hauptman, N. K. (n.d.). Can You Lose Fat by Eating Canned Tuna Packed in Water? Retrieved October 1, 2014, from Healthy Eating:

ISSF. (2014, September). . Retrieved October 1, 2014, from Status of the Stocks:

ISSF. (n.d.). Our Story . Retrieved October 1, 2014, from International Seafood Sustainability Foundation:

Mayo Clinic Staff. (2014, February 7). Omega-3 in fish: How eating fish helps your heart. Retrieved October 1, 2014, from Mayo Clinic:

Yumiko Yamashita, Takeshi Yabu, Michiaki Yamashita. (2010, May 26). Discovery of the strong antioxidant selenoneine in tuna and selenium redox metabolism. Retrieved October 8, 2014, from World Journal of Biological Chemistry:

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