Is Canned Skipjack Tuna Healthy and Sustainable?

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What Is Canned Skipjack Tuna?

Skipjack tuna is a pelagic species of tuna which lives mostly in the open ocean. They are often found in large schools and the species is highly migratory – they swim long distances to feed and reproduce. Skipjack tuna grows quickly and can grow to nearly four feet in size and weigh more than 70 pounds. They have a lifespan of 8-12 years which is relatively short in comparison to other larger species of tuna. This species spawn more than once a season and some spawn every day (FishWatch, 2014).  
Skipjack tuna is the most abundant species of tuna commonly used in canned light varieties of tuna, and sustainability measures taken today will continue to preserve the health of these tuna stocks for future generations. Purse seining and pole & line are the most common methods of catching this tuna (The Clover Leaf Seafoods Family, 2014a)
Since skipjack tuna is a smaller species of tuna with a relatively shorter lifespan than larger species of tuna, canned skipjack (light) tuna contains less mercury than other types of tuna. It is important to note that ALL types of canned tuna are below the Canadian standard of 0.5 parts per million (ppm) of mercury, but the distinction is worth noting for consumers who consume large amounts of tuna, for example as frequently as every day (Health Canada, 2011).

Health Benefits of Canned Skipjack Tuna

Canned skipjack tuna offers all of the benefits that are associated with eating fish as part of a balanced diet. Canned tuna is a good source of omega-3 fats providing many important health benefits, including improved heart health, cancer prevention, eye health, as well as infant brain and nervous system development (The Clover Leaf Seafoods Family, 2014b). Canned tuna is also a significant source of vitamin D and contains important minerals such as selenium, magnesium, and iron, to name a few (Health Canada, 2008).
Canned light tuna is an excellent source of protein and is low in saturated fats. One serving of canned tuna provides approximately 30-50% of the recommended daily intake of protein for an average person. Tuna is also a source of complete protein, which means that it provides all 10 of the amino acids the body needs in order to survive (Tremblay, 2014).

Sustainability Efforts for Skipjack Tuna

Clover Leaf sells tuna products that are always sourced from healthy tuna stocks or stocks with conservation management plans in place. Clover Leaf will not source skipjack tuna from fisheries which are overfished and where overfishing is occurring, and management actions are not in place to return the fishery to a sustainable state (The Clover Leaf Seafoods Family, 2014c).
As a proud founder of the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF), Clover Leaf is strongly invested in a wide range of sustainability projects, from bycatch mitigation, and sea turtle and shark conservation projects, to setting limits on fishing capacity based on scientific findings (The Clover Leaf Seafoods Family, 2014d).
Clover Leaf is committed to responsible, sustainable fishing practices and global resource management. This includes adhering to practices and policies which ensure the long-term health of the oceans. Clover Leaf is working towards the ultimate goal of sourcing all seafood products sustainably with at least 95% of these products already being sustainable (The Clover Leaf Seafoods Family, 2014e).
These sustainability efforts allow customers to make canned tuna choices (such as canned skipjack tuna) that are both healthy for their consumption and healthy for the future of our oceans. 

Works Cited

FishWatch. (2014, March 25). Pacific Skipjack Tuna - About the Species. Retrieved October 30, 2014, from NOAA:

Health Canada. (2008, February 15). Mercury in Fish - Consumption Advice: Making Informed Choices about Fish. Retrieved October 24, 2014, from Health Canada - Canned Tuna:

Health Canada. (2011, January 25). Mercury in Fish - Question and Answers - Health Benefits of Eating Fish. Retrieved October 23, 2014, from Health Canada-Canned Tuna:

The Clover Leaf Seafoods Family. (2014a). Tuna School - Species Information - Skipjack Tuna. Retrieved October 30, 2014, from Clover Leaf Seafood School:

The Clover Leaf Seafoods Family. (2014b). Health and Wellness - Mega Omega's. Retrieved October 28, 2014, from Clover Leaf:

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

The Clover Leaf Seafoods Family. (2014d). Tuna Sustainability. Retrieved October 24, 2014, from Clover Leaf:

The Clover Leaf Seafoods Family. (2014e). FAQ - What does 'sustainable seafood' mean? Retrieved October 1, 2014, from Clover Leaf:

Tremblay, L. (2014). The Effects of Canned Tuna. Retrieved October 1, 2014, from Healthy Eating:

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