Greenpeace returns ocean destruction to Canadian tuna giant Clover Leaf

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Photo: Greenpeace Canada

For Immediate Release

26 October 2011 (Markham) -- Greenpeace activists visited Clover Leaf Seafoods' Canadian headquarters this morning to return cases of the company's canned tuna products and deliver a platter of simulated marine life remains, representing the wasteful fisheries the company sources from.

"Canadian consumers deserve better than Clover Leaf's canned ocean destruction. As Canada's largest brand of unsustainably caught tuna, Clover Leaf can and should become a leader in responsible sourcing policies, as major European brands have already done," said Sarah King, Greenpeace oceans campaign coordinator. "Clover Leaf knows the tuna fisheries it sources from kill far more than just tuna and that there are greener options," added King.

Around 10 a.m., Greenpeace activists entered the Clover Leaf offices holding banners reading ‘Clover Leaf kills more than just tuna', a message they also painted in red on the main doors of the company's office. King and two activists in shark costumes delivered a platter to a Clover Leaf representative featuring simulated shark, turtle and seabird remains, representing the wasteful destruction that comes with the company's unsustainable sourcing practices. At the same time, activists unloaded cases of Clover Leaf canned tuna products that were removed from a Toronto supermarket of a major chain the day before.

Last week, Greenpeace released a parody Clover Leaf commercial featuring the same shark that made the delivery today. The commercial takes a humorous approach to warning consumers that Clover Leaf's sourcing practices are rendering the oceans unsafe for sharks and other species.

Changing Clover Leaf's policies became a priority for Greenpeace Canada following a ranking of Canada's canned tuna brands in February 2011, in which Clover Leaf placed 11 out of 14. Despite the company's sustainability policy and participation in sustainability forums, Clover Leaf's CEO has yet to commit to changing what the company puts in its cans.

Greenpeace's current global campaign in major tuna markets is urging companies to stop selling tuna caught by indiscriminate and wasteful fishing methods. Much of the tuna found on supermarket shelves comes from large-scale fishing vessels using purse seine nets set around fish aggregation devices (FADs), which are used to attract tuna. These FADs also attract other ocean life including threatened sharks, juvenile tuna and even turtles, which get caught in the nets and are often thrown back into the sea injured, dead or dying. Greenpeace is urging companies to move away from the use of FADs with purse-seine nets, which would dramatically reduce the fisheries' negative impacts, and source only from healthy tuna stocks. All of the leading retailers and canned tuna brands in the U.K. have committed to phasing out sourcing from fisheries that employ FADs, demonstrating that such change is possible.

Major tuna brands and supermarket chains around the world are switching to more sustainable sources of tuna and supporting oceans protection through the creation of marine reserves and wildlife sanctuaries at sea. Tuna brands and Canadian food retailers are beginning to follow suit, seeking out more responsibly-caught tuna and discontinuing yellowfin tuna -- a species found on Greenpeace's Redlist.

"It's time Clover Leaf commits to sourcing 100 per cent ocean-friendly tuna. Until then, Clover Leaf tuna products don't belong on supermarket shelves along side other companies taking action to improve their tuna. If Clover Leaf doesn't act, the large-scale fishing industry will quite literally be fishing itself out of existence, putting billions of people reliant on fish for food and jobs at risk," concluded King.

Greenpeace is campaigning globally for fishing industry reform and for a global network of marine reserves covering 40 per cent of the world's oceans, necessary steps to creating healthy, living oceans for future generations.


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